Formed in May 2019, Reclaiming Our Language Constance Lake First Nation is a grassroots group comprised of volunteer members of Constance Lake First Nation dedicated to taking the lead on revitalizing our languages. Compared to other grassroot groups and communities across Canada who have been working on language revitalization over the past 20 years or more, our group has just started in our efforts. Within our group, there are speakers and non-speakers both on and off-reserve. The purpose of the group is two-fold as follows:
- Establish a Constance Lake First Nation Language and Culture Authority
- Take responsibility for the future of the language by promoting its resurgence and revitalization in the community by:
- Assessing its status and the language environment
- Preparing for the implementation of language revitalization projects
- Working with Chief and Council, other relevant internal programs, and external organizations to develop a Community Language Plan
- Taking short-term, immediate actions while a Community Language Plan is being developed
- Encouraging the development of awards, recognitions and incentives to promote language learning
We formed during the 2019 United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages (click here to view). So that we have greater community ownership/continuity and to ensure that our goals do not have to change when elected government changes, our group operates in an independent and non-partisan manner.
Original Members (Left to Right): Stands-in-Water Allen John Sutherland (Vice Chair), Carol Audet (Chair), Christine Stephens (Councillor), Stanley Stephens (Elder), Gloria Stephens-Champagne (Elder), Florrie Sutherland (Secretary/Treasurer) and Sarah Sutherland (Member)
The group meets on a monthly basis and operates based on a Terms of Reference. We welcome other community members and language speakers to join our group at any time.
We will continue to work cooperatively with all programs and services in the community for the benefit of our languages. We will also bring everyone into the dialogue to have meaningful conversations and work towards implementing new ideas to address the language crisis that has developed.