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Reclaiming My Language: A Course for Silent Speakers 2019-20 Funding

Grants to British Columbia, Canada First Nations and Indigenous Agencies,
Language Centers, and Organizations to Host a Course for Silent Speakers

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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First Peoples' Cultural Council (FPCC)

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Grants of up to $25,000 to British Columbia, Canada First Nations communities, governments, Bands, and Tribal Councils, and Indigenous organizations and language centers to host a course for silent speakers of indigenous languages. Funding is intended to help participants reclaim their language. The course has three components - class time, homework, and internship - and is led by co-instructors who specialize in Community, Mental Health, and Language.

Reclaiming My Language: A Course for Silent Speakers is based on a successful program that was developed in Norway and Sweden for and by Indigenous Sami peoples. First Peoples’ Cultural Council adapted the program through pilot courses with seven First Nations communities in British Columbia. The model uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to support silent speakers to overcome barriers to using their Indigenous language in their communities.

A silent speaker is someone who understands a language quite well but does not speak it. Silent speakers are also known as latent speakers, receptive bilinguals, or understanders. Here are some examples of silent speakers:
- Residential school survivors who spoke their language before attending school.
- People who grew up hearing a language and understand it but do not speak it.
- People who grew up with a fluent speaker in the home and understand the language but do not speak it.
- People who have studied extensively and have developed a high level of ability in reading and writing their language but do not speak it.
- Speakers who moved away from the community for some time and do not feel comfortable speaking now that they have moved back.
- Speakers who speak a different dialect of the same language and do not feel comfortable speaking within a community where another dialect is more common.
- Speakers who simply haven't spoken for years because they haven't really had anyone to speak with.

The course works as follows:
- Class time. The course runs for 10 weeks for 2-3 hours each week. Each class consists of a CBT lesson and a general language topic, such as how children and adults differ in learning a language. In addition, participants will share their feelings about speaking their language and will discuss their weekly homework assignments.
- Homework:. Homework is an important part of the course. For homework, participants are required to spend at least an hour a week with a fluent mentor. Participants will be given a language topic to practice speaking with their mentors in a fun, relaxed, one-on-one setting. In addition, there will be a reading assignment and a “challenge” homework where participants can try to speak in a new situation or with a new person.
- Internship: All First Nations communities in British Columbia would love to have more speakers involved in language programs – from daycares to schools to adult programs. The hope is that silent speakers will feel more comfortable speaking at the end of the course and they might consider getting involved in community language programs. For that reason, the course offers an internship opportunity for participants to volunteer in a community language program, such as in a daycare.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185703

Estimated Size of Grant:

A maximum of $25,000 is available for the course.

Term of Contract:

The course duration is 10 weeks for 2-3 hours each week, and must be completed between September 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Who is eligible to apply?
- B.C. First Nations Communities/Governments/Bands/Tribal Councils
- Indigenous Cultural, Language and Education Centres
- Indigenous Organizations
- Previous applicants may apply as long as all reporting on previous funding from FPCC (all programs) or the First Peoples' Cultural Foundation (FPCF) is up to date

Who is not eligible to apply?
- Individual applicants
- Public institutions (e.g. schools, universities)
- Committees, groups, task forces without an established governing body
- Government agencies
- Previous projects funded by FPCC/FPCF where applicants have not
completed all the required reporting

Who is NOT a silent speaker?
- A new language learner.
- Language learners with beginner or intermediate language proficiency.
- Someone who lost their language abilities due to stroke or other health issues.
- Speaker who can speak comfortably in most situations.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be received on or before May 31, 2019.

FPCC will accept multiple applications per community. More than one project proposal for the same project-type cannot be accepted – applications must be for different projects. For example, two proposals for a Language Nest in one community will not be eligible but a community could apply for Language Nest and Reclaiming My Language.

At least 10 pre-course surveys completed by potential participants must be included with the application. As part of the application process, please recruit potential participants. It might be helpful to hold an information meeting for interested participants to learn about the course and to complete the pre-course surveys. You may submit more than 10 pre-course surveys, but only 10 participants will be able to attend the course.

To learn more about Sami language initiatives visit: (You will need your browser to translate this webpage into English.)

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit applications by email to:

Mail to:
Suzanne Gessner
Reclaiming My Language Program First Peoples’ Cultural Council
1A Boat Ramp Road,
Brentwood Bay, B.C.
V8M 1N9

(604) 328-1210
FPCC office: (250)652-5952
toll free through Enquiry BC: 1-800-663-7867

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: British Columbia