On Revitalization

“If our understandings of our teachings are within us, if our language is within us, that’s something that nobody can take away from us. And it is those things that make us strong.”

– Brian Maracle

Canada Needs Thriving Indigenous Languages
Khelsilem | TEDx | West Vancouver

Khelsilem shares the reasons we need thriving Indigenous languages and how we can make it happen.

Khelsilem, Sḵwxwú7mesh / Squamish

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh revitalization, legs and lineage

Gwaai Edenshaw, Sherri Dick, Christian White, Haida

Why learning the language is important

Marc Miller House of Commons Speech 2017

In 2017, non-Indigenous Montreal-area Liberal MP Marc Miller gave the first speech in Mohawk in the House of Commons.

“I pay my respects to you who have gathered here. I stand here to honour the Mohawk language and I pay my respects to their people. Let us pay respects to the Creator for everything he has given to us that we may live peacefully.
I am proud to stand here and speak to you in the Mohawk language. Hopefully it will help us to become better friends. I also hope that we will hear the Mohawk language a lot more often here and that more Canadians will be proud to use it to speak to one another. I pay my respects to you, the master of this House.”

In 2019 he gave a second Mohawk speech in the House, and this time it was simultaneously translated with a new service.

This is what he said:


“I want to be able to understand the language of the Mohawk people, people who have lived here long before my people arrived. I have discovered something that is more complicated than sharing words with one another. I have found that I am able to understand my place on earth which I did not appreciate before I began learning. It has now just begun to make sense to me how amazing the language is, how rich it is, how exceptional it is. It is a lot more complicated than my other languages.”

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