Innu Language Conference (2007)
Although Innu-aimun is not yet considered in danger of extinction, the use of the Innu language varies between communities; although it is still well established in the more northern communities, Innu-aimun is no longer spoken in Essipit and is in danger of extinction in Mashteuiatsh (Lac-Saint-Jean), where only one fifth of the population still speak their native tongue. The danger of Innu-aimun becoming extinct is unfortunately a reality that will affect all Innu communities in the years to come. The communities need to be aware of this problem.
This Innu language conference aimed to inform people of the danger of extinction of the Innu language. The symposium brought together a group of representatives from each Innu community, selected for their involvement in the preservation and maintenance of the Innu language. These representatives discussed diverse questions pertaining to Innu-aimun, and suggested concrete methods for working towards the revitatalisation of the language.
Representatives from the following 10 communities took part in the symposium:
- Uashat and Mani-utenam
The conference took place over a period of five days in May 2007, in Sept-Iles, Quebec, and comprised presentations of approximately one hour, as well as workshops. SOCAM (Société de Communication Atikamekw-Montagnais) broadcasted the symposium on the radio during the five days.
Workshops focused on taking actions that reflect the values and objectives of the Innu communities, in terms of maintaining the Innu language. The aim was to create an opportunity for members of each Innu community to get together to discuss and put in place plans of action for preserving Innu-aimun.