2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages

Calgary Women’s Centre celebrates that 2019 is the Year of Indigenous Languages, declared by The United Nations.

We want to recognize the importance of increased understanding of reconciliation and culture by raising awareness of languages in our Treaty 7 Territories and other Treaty Nations. Language plays a vital role in our daily lives, to Indigenous Peoples it’s a way of self identifying themselves and where they come from. It is also important to remember every language is unique in its own way. Today around the world, especially in our nearby communities, language is disappearing everyday. When we don’t speak our language, we start to forget how to speak it. When we forget, our next generations will lose the language too.

“Losing the language means losing the culture. We need to know who we are because it makes a difference in who our children are.” —Dottie LeBeau

We are showing support here at the Women’s Centre by acknowledging the history and loss of languages of Indigenous peoples and the effects of intergenerational trauma that led to the loss of language. With that, we want to promote more awareness on how we can preserve and protect our language. Public awareness is needed to keep the focus on Indigenous languages.

How can you help to revitalize language?

  •  Learn how to say a word daily
  •  Connect with traditional knowledge keepers who can speak the language to help you learn more
  • Practice greetings, commands and seasons to start
  • Remember Action speaks louder and you can help someone by teaching too.

Below are some greetings in Treaty 7 Indigenous Languages to help you get started:

Blackfoot Greeting

Oki, Tsa niita’pii? – Hello, how are

Tsuut’ina Nation (Dene)

Danit’ada – Hello, how are you?


Tansi or Dansi – Hello, how are you?


Aaniin? Hello, how are you?

Metis (Michif)

Taanishi- Hello


Ullaakuut- Good Morning


Aba wathtech do ken yau – Hello, how are you?



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