We also had the opportunity to meet language coordinators and other community language workers, including elders, at a number of language meetings in Yellowknife. As well, the Deninu Kue Working Group made a presentation to a Literacy Council Board Meeting. Those occasions let us discuss matters with them more informally.

Language communities welcomed the Literacy Council's initiative to examine its role in supporting Aboriginal literacy. In fact, one person said, I am delighted that the Literacy Council is interested in being a partner in supporting Aboriginal literacy. While people commented on our role, they tended to talk more about specific activities that the council might be (more) involved in. In fact, there was no shortage of ideas.

As we met with the various language communities, the answers to our questions inevitably sorted themselves around a number of language issues. We have used these issues as the organizers for this section of the report.

5.2 Language Issues

Issue 1: Defining and understanding literacy

Literacy is defined in many different ways. Often it has a narrow focus on reading and writing, with an emphasis on English, but literacy is much broader than that. The NWT Literacy Strategy uses this definition:

… an individual's ability to listen, speak, read, write, view, represent, compute and solve problems in one or more of the NWT official languages at levels of proficiency necessary to function in the family, in the community and on the job.