Restoring Indigenous Languages Key To Preventing Youth Suicides: Trudeau

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FILE: Students in Grade 1 to 5 learned about Cree, Dakota, Michif and Nakaw languages Students in Grade 1 to 5 learned about Cree, Dakota, Michif and Nakaw languages

The Canadian Press, Jun. 3, 2016

WINNIPEG, MB, Man. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says restoring indigenous languages is key to preventing youth suicides in First Nation communities but stopped short of promising to recognize them as official languages.

Trudeau told a virtual town hall with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in Winnipeg that languages are at the core of indigenous culture and identity. Communities that do a better job of teaching their own language and culture see “massive decreases in suicide rates,” Trudeau said.

“This is something that we know is essential,” he said Friday. “As an indicator of pride and identity, belonging and culture, indigenous languages are essential.”

Trudeau pointed to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools — released a year ago — which found preventing children from learning…

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