Aug 30 Truth & Reconciliation Event Stephen Scharper to Explore Importance of Revitalizing Indigenous Languages


Submitted by the Northern Bruce Truth and Reconciliation Group

The Northern Bruce Truth and Reconciliation Group invites you to join us on Friday August 30th to learn about the importance of revitalizing Indigenous languages across Canada. The event will take place at the National Park Visitor Centre. Please note that the event will start at 8:00 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 and we encourage you to come early as there is often a big crowd and seating is limited.

The United Nations proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. This proclamation is considered “an important mechanism dedicated to raising awareness of a topic of global interest and mobilizing different players for coordinated action around the world… Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives. They are not only our first medium for communication, education and social integration, but are also at the heart of each person’s unique identity, cultural history and memory. The ongoing loss of Indigenous languages is particularly devastating, as the complex knowledge and cultures they foster are increasingly being recognized as strategic resources for good governance, peace-building, reconciliation, and sustainable development. More importantly, such losses have huge negative impacts on Indigenous peoples’ most basic human rights.”

In Canada today, there are more than 58 Indigenous languages. Of these, it is predicted that only three — Cree, Anishinabemowin (Ojibwa) and Inuktitut — will survive. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made it clear that revitalizing Indigenous languages is crucial for reconciliation.

We are thrilled that Stephen Scharper with be with us again, this time to use film to explore the importance of revitalizing Indigenous languages. Dr. Scharper is associate professor at the School of the Environment and the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is cross-appointed in the department of anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, and is associate faculty with the Toronto School of Theology. He is also an author and a freelance contributor for The Star. Stephen has contributed his time and knowledge as a curator of films in the Walk a New Path series in previous years. He is well known and highly respected here in the Northern Bruce where he has frequently demonstrated his passion for achieving reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

This Walk a New Path event is the last one being hosted by the Northern Bruce Truth and Reconciliation Group this summer. It is offered in partnership with Parks Canada and the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula. We hope to see you there when the event starts at 8:00 p.m.