Promoting and enforcing the Cree language
Band Council Resolution 845, November 29, 2016
Whereas; The Fort Severn people believe strong culture, and language was what provided the community with the resiliency to maintain strong connections with the land, and the ancestors, and that without language, and culture to promote resiliency, the community will lose their sense of cultural autonomy, intellectual sovereignty, and heritage.
Whereas; The Elders say culture and language are the same thing, and that if the language is lost, so too is the culture.
Whereas; The people of Fort Severn have expressed the belief that loss of language has many harmful effects on the people to whom it belonged.
Whereas; Unless action is taken now, the languages will die with the Elders, and that this loss is just as serious as the loss of a biological species. When a language dies; a piece of humanity dies with it.
Whereas; Biological, linguistic, and cultural diversity are inseparable, and mutually reinforcing. So when the language is lost, so too is traditional knowledge on how to maintain the worlds biological diversity, and address climate change with other environmental challenges.
Whereas; In Fort Severn, the number of Cree speakers is declining rapidly, while the average age of Cree speakers is increasing. For many of the community’s children, and youth feel inclined to assimilate to the social standard in order to increase their social mobility.
Therefore, be it resolved; The Chief and Council declare Cree to be the first language of the community, and encourage all Cree speakers to use the Cree language in the family home, in their interactions with First Nation workers, and Elders, and at community events.