The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Responds to Federal Treasury Board’s Decision Not to Extend Bilingualism Bonus Directive to First Nations Language Speakers
August 24, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba –The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) calls on the federal government to withdraw its decision not to include First Nations language speakers in the annual Bilingualism Bonus Directive for civil servants.
The federal Treasury Board announced it will not include Indigenous language speakers in its Bilingualism Bonus Directive, offering employees an additional $800 a year for working positions requiring bilingual language skills. The AMC calls on the federal government to fulfill its obligations to work with First Nations to protect, revitalize, and promote First Nations languages. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action outlines that Indigenous languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society and are reinforced by the Treaties. Therefore, the Canadian government must include First Nations language speakers in any incentives to demonstrate that First Nations language speakers are as valued as French and English Canadians.
“Canada’s choice to exclude First Nations does not support language reclamation and contradicts the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action as well as the Indigenous Languages Act,” said AMC Deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean. “We ask Canada to include First Nations in this incentive and reward First Nations’ language retention, revitalization, and reclamation by encouraging its use the same way it does for French and English languages.”