The City of Kingston is partnering with the Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest (KILN) to support community members rebuilding their connections to culture and learning to speak Indigenous languages, including Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk), Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) and Nêhiyawak (Cree).
“Learning our languages, through song, conversation, and land-based traditions, is an essential part of language revitalization and reclaiming our cultures,” says KILN’s Liv Rondeau.
She notes that KILN is already planning next steps to set down roots for language and land-based cultural programming out of the City-owned building at 610 Montreal St., which is close to downtown and on a Kingston Transit Express Route.
KILN’s new space is one of a number of City efforts to support Indigenous programming, cultural gatherings and ceremonies through increased access to City spaces and is not meant to be a large community gathering space, friendship or cultural centre. Community-based discussions on how to continue to build capacity and move forward toward an Indigenous-Operated Cultural Centre continue with support from the City.
“This new partnership with KILN is just one step of many on the shared path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Supporting language learning, Indigenous cultural revitalization and community connections are ways we can work together to build meaningful and healing relationships,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson.
Council approved moving forward with a Service Level Agreement that will provide operational funding to KILN to support Indigenous language learning as well as the use of the building at 610 Montreal St. as a base for KILN’s programming. These agreements were part of a series of efforts related to reconciliation and consultations with Indigenous communities outlined in a Report to Council. Report Number 21-215 also includes next steps regarding the local observance of Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and the consultation about the relocation of the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald removed from City Park earlier this year.
Fostering healthy citizens and vibrant spaces is one of Council’s priorities for its 2019-22 term.