Culture and Language
For thousands of years the First Peoples of British Columbia have valued their cultures – cultures that include songs, stories, ceremonies, values, beliefs, ways of life and languages. Today's Aboriginal peoples continue the tradition of teaching and sharing their language and traditions so that their knowledge can be passed on to future generations. The Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation works to support these important traditions and assist in the revitalization, promotion and protection of Aboriginal languages, arts and culture.
Through the First Citizens Fund, the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation supports the First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Council (FPHLCC), a provincial crown corporation, and the elders transportation program administered by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship centres.
In partnership with the New Relationship Trust, FPHLCC and the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, the ministry helps fund four important language revitalization programs:
There are over 34 First Nation languages and 59 dialects in British Columbia, representing 60 per cent of all First Nations languages in Canada. Most of these languages are critically endangered.
Read the Report on the Status of B.C. First Nations Languages 2010 by the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council to learn more.
Other Aboriginal languages are spoken in British Columbia, including Michif, the language of the Métis people of Canada, as well as Aboriginal languages indigenous to other parts of Canada, such as Cree.