Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck moved the adoption of the report.
She said: Honourable senators, I want to speak briefly to some of the amendments passed by the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. On the whole, the amendments passed strengthen the bill and better enable Indigenous peoples to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen their own languages.
Of particular attention are a series of amendments that now include access to services and programs in Indigenous languages where there is sufficient demand and access. This was a main concern from witnesses during the committee’s pre-study of C-91, particularly for Inuit witnesses. Specifically mentioned now are programs and services pertaining to education, health and the administration of justice.
In addition, the committee passed an amendment that required the minister to review and report to Parliament on the availability and quality of federal government services provided in Inuktuk in Canada.
In order to avoid duplication with the new Indigenous languages commissioner created by the act and language commissioners of the provinces and territories, the committee passed an amendment that sought to avoid overlap and duplication and better facilitate coordination.
The committee also passed amendments to more clearly outline the powers and jurisdiction of Indigenous government bodies in relation to Indigenous languages as recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution. Thank you.