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Indigenous Languages Act (S.C. 2019, c. 23)

Act current to 2020-11-17 and last amended on 2020-10-01. Previous Versions

Office of Commissioner of Indigenous Languages

Establishment

Marginal note:Office established

  •  (1) There is established an office, to be known as the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, consisting of the Commissioner and up to three directors.

  • Marginal note:Status

    (2) The Office is neither an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada nor is it an entity governed by the Financial Administration Act, and its Commissioner, directors and employees are not part of the federal public administration.

Marginal note:Appointment of Commissioner

 On the recommendation of the Minister made after the Minister has consulted with a variety of Indigenous governments and other Indigenous governing bodies and a variety of Indigenous organizations, the Governor in Council is to appoint a Commissioner of Indigenous Languages to hold office during good behaviour for a term not exceeding five years, subject to removal by the Governor in Council at any time for cause.

Marginal note:Advisory committee

 The Minister may establish a committee to provide the Minister with advice on the appointment of the Commissioner.

Marginal note:Chief executive officer

 The Commissioner is the chief executive officer of the Office and has the control and management of the Office and all matters connected with it.

Marginal note:Commissioner absent or unable to act

 If the Commissioner is absent or unable to act or if the office of Commissioner is vacant, the Minister may designate a director to act as Commissioner, but that director may act as Commissioner for a period of more than 90 days only with the approval of the Governor in Council given on the recommendation of the Minister made after the Minister has consulted with a variety of Indigenous governments and other Indigenous governing bodies and a variety of Indigenous organizations.

Marginal note:Appointment of directors

  •  (1) On the recommendation of the Minister made after the Minister has consulted with a variety of Indigenous governments and other Indigenous governing bodies and a variety of Indigenous organizations, the Governor in Council is to appoint up to three directors to hold office during pleasure for a term not exceeding five years.

  • Marginal note:Interests of First Nations, Inuit and Métis

    (2) Before making recommendations under subsection (1), the Minister must seek comments in order to ensure that the Governor in Council appoints persons who have the ability to represent the interests of First Nations, the Inuit and the Métis.

Marginal note:Reappointment

 The Commissioner and directors may be reappointed for a second or subsequent term of office.

Marginal note:Status

 The Commissioner and directors are to be appointed to hold office on a full-time basis.

Marginal note:Remuneration

  •  (1) The Commissioner and directors are to be paid the remuneration determined by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Expenses

    (2) The Commissioner is to be reimbursed for reasonable travel and other expenses incurred in performing duties while absent from the Commissioner’s ordinary place of work. The directors are to be reimbursed for such expenses incurred in performing duties while absent from their ordinary place of residence.

Marginal note:Employees

 The Office may hire any employees that are necessary to carry out the activities of the Office and determine the duties of those persons and the conditions of their employment, including their remuneration and benefits.

Marginal note:Conflict of interest

 The Commissioner, directors and employees of the Office must not accept or hold an office or employment that is inconsistent with their duties or take part in any matter that involves the Office and in which they have an interest.

Marginal note:Head office

 The Office’s head office is to be in the National Capital Region, as described in the schedule to the National Capital Act, or at any other place in Canada that may be designated by order of the Governor in Council.

Mandate and Powers, Duties and Functions

Marginal note:Mandate

  •  (1) The mandate of the Office is to

    • (a) help promote Indigenous languages;

    • (b) support the efforts of Indigenous peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages;

    • (c) facilitate the resolution of disputes and review complaints to the extent provided by this Act;

    • (d) promote public awareness and understanding in respect of

      • (i) the diversity and richness of Indigenous languages,

      • (ii) the inseparable link between Indigenous languages and the cultures of Indigenous peoples,

      • (iii) the rights of Indigenous peoples related to Indigenous languages,

      • (iv) the significance of those rights for Indigenous peoples, as well as for the general public,

      • (v) the negative impact of colonization and discriminatory government policies on Indigenous languages and the exercise of those rights, and

      • (vi) the importance of working toward and contributing to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples; and

    • (e) support innovative projects and the use of new technologies in Indigenous language education and revitalization, in cooperation with Indigenous governments and other Indigenous governing bodies, Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial governments.

  • Marginal note:Consultation and coordination

    (2) In fulfilling its mandate, the Office must, where appropriate, consult and coordinate with any Indigenous, provincial or territorial entity that is responsible for the promotion, revitalization or protection of Indigenous languages.

Marginal note:Research or studies

  •  (1) The Office may undertake research or studies, or cause research or studies to be undertaken, in respect of

    • (a) the provision of funding for the purposes of supporting Indigenous languages; or

    • (b) the use of Indigenous languages in Canada, including for the purposes of measuring the vitality of those languages or identifying measures to restore and maintain fluency in those languages.

  • Marginal note:Community assessments

    (2) The research or studies referred to in paragraph (1)(b) may take into account a community assessment, with the consent of the Indigenous community in respect of which the assessment was undertaken.

  • Marginal note:Availability — research or study

    (3) The Office must make the results of any research or study referred to in subsection (1) available to any Indigenous community, Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body or Indigenous organization that contributed to that research or study. Subject to any law, the Office must also make any document used in or produced for that research or study available to that Indigenous community, Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body or Indigenous organization.

  • Marginal note:Copy or use free of charge

    (4) The Office must authorize the Indigenous community, Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body or Indigenous organization to copy or otherwise use the research or study free of charge for the purpose of reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining or strengthening Indigenous languages. Subject to any law, the Office must also authorize any document used in or produced for that research or study to be copied or otherwise used by that Indigenous community, Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body or Indigenous organization free of charge, for that purpose.

Marginal note:Support offered by Office

 At the request of an Indigenous community or an Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body, the Office may provide support to the community or the Indigenous government or other Indigenous governing body in its efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen an Indigenous language, including its efforts to

  • (a) create permanent records of the language, including audio and video recordings and written materials such as dictionaries, lexicons and grammars of the language, for the purposes of, among other things, its maintenance and transmission;

  • (b) establish certification standards for translators and interpreters;

  • (c) conduct research and studies and community assessments in respect of the use of the language;

  • (d) develop and implement plans for reclaiming, revitalizing, maintaining and strengthening the language; or

  • (e) engage with the Government of Canada or provincial or territorial governments to establish culturally appropriate methods of teaching and learning the language.

 
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