Percentage of primary caregivers of First Nations children on reserve who felt that having their children learn a First Nations language was ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’, Canada, 2002/2003, 2008/2010 and 2013/2015

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from First Nations Information Governance Centre, Our Data, Our Stories, Our Future: The National Report of the First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey. 2016. -accessed August 25, 2017 and the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) 2008/10, National report on adults, youth and children living in First Nations Communities. -accessed August 15, 2017.

In 2013/2015, 88.4% of primary caregivers of First Nations children living on reserve felt that learning a First Nations language was ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’.

This was down slightly from 92.5% in 2008/2010 and 92.9% in 2002/2003.


Language is one of the means by which culture is conveyed and preserved. Unfortunately, knowledge of Indigenous languages have been declining over the years, whereby only three of over 60 Indigenous languages originally spoken in Canada are expected to survive into the next century.1 The impact of Residential Schools has had an impact on this decline. In order to preserve Indigenous languages, it is important to support Indigenous children to learn their language. This highlights the importance of the proper conditions for children to learn their language, such as increasing awareness among caregivers of Indigenous children of the importance of their children learning an Indigenous language, having access to an Indigenous language program within school, and having teachers in these programs fluent in the Indigenous language.

1Assembly of First Nations. (2015). A closer look: Revitalizing Indigenous languages. 2015 Federal election priorities for First Nations and Canada. Ottawa, ON: Author. Retrieved October 7, 2015 from