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Language rights protect the rights of individuals and groups to choose which language(s) they use in private as well as in public interactions, such as legal, health, educational or political access to information and services. Language rights are also a tool of identity, and an important social determinant of health. Many nations, including Canada, may not deliberately discriminate against minority languages or those not deemed not to be the “official” ones, but if broader language access is not strategically enabled, organizations and individuals end up being excluded and discriminated against based on their language comprehension and fluency.

While advocacy for equality of access for ALL languages does not have a long history in Canada, worldwide efforts to promote universal linguistic rights while monitoring the state of minority and indigenous languages has been ongoing for fifty years (Minority and Indigenous Trends, 2019). The constantly changing and evolving views on “language access“, influenced by migration patterns and technology, has been developing against a historical trend of tying language to national identity and borders.

Here in Canada, the recently co-developed National First Nations, Inuit and Métis Languages Act (Bill C-91) that recognized the rights of Indigenous languages not only expanded our national conversation around “official languages”, but also challenged the status quo to reimagine what access in all other languages carried by the waves of immigration to Canada since 18th century onward could be.

The idea of a Language Advocacy Day in Canada was largely inspired by the efforts of the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL), which has hosted National Language Day in Washington, DC for over 40 years, and supported by the initial investment of the MCIS Language Solutions’ Social Benefit Fund. The core team Language Advocacy Day team is lucky to have support from a number of organizations, including early partners such as those listed below.



Alongside our local network of 25+ organizations and businesses that signed up to actively support the initiative, we work with a range of partners who, like us, are passionate about building a more inclusive and accessible Canada.
Through joint publishing, research and resource sharing, we look for ways to help our partners contribute to shared agendas.  Contact us to learn more about how to get involved.

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Joint National Committee on Languages (JNCL)

Language news, policy analysis, advocacy alerts. Members driven. We speak language policy to power.

New Canadian Media

New Canadian Media provides nonpartisan news and views representing all Canadian immigrant communities. The views expressed on this site are those of the individual writers and commentators, and not necessarily those of New Canadian Media.

Ethnicity Matters

Ethnicity Matters: A team of cultural marketing experts bringing brands to new Canadian buyers.

The National Film Board of Canada

The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's public film and digital media producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary films, animation, web documentaries, and alternative dramas.

Glendon College, York University

Glendon College is a public liberal arts college in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Formally the federated bilingual campus of York University, it is one of the school's 9 colleges and 11 faculties with 100 full-time faculty members and a student population of about 2,100.

Knowledge Equity Lab

The Knowledge Equity Lab is an inclusive, trans-disciplinary, experimental space. Based at the Centre for Critical Development Studies at UTSC, it is an incubator for a community of practitioners advancing knowledge equity, centering marginalised and under-represented knowledge-makers as a means of social justice and change.

Battista Smith, Migration Law Group

Our Toronto-based immigration lawyers believe that migration is a fundamental freedom and that immigration barriers to Canada should exist only when necessary. Canadian diversity is our strength, and immigrants are welcomed to Canada. Our firm based in Toronto, Canada can give you practical legal advice that will help you meet your immigration goals, whether it is visiting, studying or moving permanently to Canada with your family.

The 519

From refugee settlement to counseling, The 519 serves the people of Toronto by supporting happy, fulfilling LGBTQ2S lives.


MCC Toronto is the only LGBTQ+ exclusive Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) for refugees in all of Canada. Through our work with sponsorship teams, we have privately sponsored over 55 LGBTQ+ refugees to Canada and have provided services and programming to over 3,500 LGBTQ+ refugee claimants since 2007.


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