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Promoting French and preserving Indigenous languages priorities for new languages minister

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New Official Languages Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says protecting Indigenous languages to ensure they are taught to future generations is a priority for the Liberal government, alongside promoting French throughout Canada.

She says that though Indigenous languages are not recognized as “official” alongside English and French, she wants to make sure that First Nations MPs are able to speak in their mother tongues in the House of Commons.

In an interview with The Canadian Press to discuss her new role, Petitpas Taylor says she would be working with other ministers to make sure that First Nations languages, such as Cree and Inuktitut, are not “erased.”

Petitpas Taylor, who represents a New Brunswick riding and is fluently bilingual, says modernizing the Official Languages Act to preserve and promote French is also a key aim for the first 100 days of her new mandate.

The Liberals introduced a bill to overhaul the Official Languages Act in June, which died on the order paper when Parliament was dissolved for the September 20 election.

Petitpas Taylor says she is concerned about the decline of French across Canada and says a key part of her role is to make sure people have a chance to speak and read the language — and not just at school.

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