A significant number of Haudenosaunee languages have less than 100 native speakers left.
And a number of dedicated language speakers and volunteers have been working hard over the decades to retain those languages and increase the number of fluent speakers through the Six Nations Language Commission.
A two-day summit is coming to the community in March to find ways to continue to revitalize Haudenosaunee languages.
The event is being organized by the O’gwe:ho:weh Advisory Group (OAG) in collaboration with Six Nations Language Commission, Six Nations Life Long Learning Task Force, Grand River Employment and Training and the McMaster University, Indigenous Program.
The Six Nations Language Summit will take place on Mar. 24 and Mar. 25 at the Six Nations Community Hall.
The theme is “Our Home, Our Languages, Our Future,” which is significant because a number of Haudenosaunee languages have less than 100 First Language speakers left, organizers noted in a press release.
Organizers said it’s important for the community to come together to discuss strategies, concepts and ideas, “to ensure we are keeping our languages alive for the coming generations.”
Working with community-based partners such as the Six Nations Language Commission, Grand River Employment and Training and McMaster University, Indigenous Studies Program, they have committed resources (funding and people) to host this event.
Ahead of the summit, the organizing committee is hosting a Social on Mar. 24 at 6:00 pm at the Six Nations Community Hall to renew friendships and relationships, share Haudenosaunee social songs and dances and the community is invited to participate.
The Six Nations Language Summit will feature Haudenosaunee speakers, break-out workshops, youth presentations and facilitators leading discussions on how to revitalize the languages and way of life.
Community organizations, businesses and individuals who are committed to ensuring our languages stay alive are invited to attend.
If your organization is interested in getting involved, they can contact Kevin Sandy, Summit Coordinator at 226-922-9097 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.