Indigenous Languages Month 2021

News Releases

Yellowknife — February 4, 2021

Indigenous Languages Month, celebrated in February each year highlights the nine official Indigenous languages of the Northwest Territories, honouring the culture and knowledge that each language has passed on through generations,

The theme for Indigenous Languages month 2021 is “Cook with Me” to celebrate the important role of food and cooking in cultural traditions, identity, and community.

This year’s event is celebrated in partnership with the NWT Literacy Council and encourages all residents to learn about our official Indigenous languages and speak them with pride.

During the month of February, we encourage everyone to celebrate Indigenous languages, learn about traditional foods, and try cooking in the language of your community or region.

  • Try recipes from one of the Indigenous Languages Month 2021 Regional Recipe Books and learn to cook using one of the NWT’s nine official Indigenous languages! This digital recipe book will be available online on the ECE website and released on social media over the course of the month. Follow and share your results with us on Facebook at NWT Indigenous Languages and Education and stay tuned for more content throughout the month.
  • Regional Indigenous Governments have been provided celebratory grants to produce videos and other creative projects that promote, celebrate, and engage people in Indigenous Languages Month. Contact your Regional Indigenous Government or Regional Indigenous Language Coordinator for more information.


“Our nine official Indigenous languages shape our identity as Northerners and showcase how truly unique we are with rich culture and heritage. It is of the utmost importance that all of us continue the work of preserving and revitalizing these languages through celebration and practice.”

- RJ Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

“The NWT Literacy Council is happy to partner with the Indigenous Languages and Education Secretariat to promote February as Indigenous Languages month. The theme this year is “Cook with Me”. Follow along on social media for contests and ideas to celebrate at home and in your community.”

- Kathryn Paddock, Executive Director of the NWT Literacy Council

Quick facts

  • The Northwest Territories (NWT) is the only political region in Canada which recognizes 11 Official Languages.
  • Of these languages, nine are Indigenous: Chipewyan, Cree, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, and Tłı̨chǫ.
  • Indigenous Languages Month provides an opportunity for all language groups across the NWT to celebrate their languages and culture.

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