About Us


The Manitoba Aboriginal Languages Strategy (MALS) was created to revitalize, retain and promote the seven Aboriginal Languages of Manitoba. MALS is committed to sharing, developing, and promoting Aboriginal language resources throughout the province.

MALS Brochure opens PDF

MALS Language Symposium – February 21 & 22, 2024

teca oyate hena dakota wicohan yuha mani pte:
Empowering Youth to Lead the Way in Language

MALS symposium poster cover
2024 Symposium Poster opens PDF

Manitoba Aboriginal Languages Strategy (MALS) was created to promote, revitalize, and support Aboriginal Languages throughout Manitoba. Ancestral knowledge, as carried in our languages, songs, stories, community histories, and other key practices and customs, connect and bridge generations. The languages of First Nations, Métis and Inuit teach us about who we are as a people. Language creates a strong connection from the past to the present and helps shape Indigenous identity. We recognize the importance of land and the role that the land plays in connecting to our language and history. We also recognize that learning can take place beyond the walls of a classroom and youth will lead the way.

In this “International Decade of Indigenous Languages”, MALS is pleased to host a two-day language symposium. We invite Knowledge Keepers, Elders, educators, students and other interested community members to this year’s symposium. This year’s symposium theme is “teca oyate hena dakota wicohan yuha mani pte: Empowering Youth to Lead the Way in Language”. The symposium will take February 21-22, 2024 at Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park. We encourage you to come and share in two days of language celebration and revitalization.

To register and/or submit an abstract form, please visit: MALS 2024 | Indigenous Conferences

Keynote Speakers

Structure and Organization

Partnership Agreement

A Partnership Agreement was signed on September 21, 2015 by four lead organizations including the Indigenous Inclusion Directorate, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC), University College of the North (UCN), and the Indigenous Languages of Manitoba (ILM).

The Manitoba Education and Training–Indigenous Inclusion Directorate (IID), Indigenous Languages of Manitoba (ILM), Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Center (MFNERC) and the University College of the North (UCN) provide Aboriginal language education, teacher training, develop education programs and provide services in Aboriginal languages.

Membership and representatives consists of Grandparents from each of the Manitoba Aboriginal Languages groups, and representatives of leaders from the First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) education organizations, provincial school divisions and post-secondary institutions.

Partner Co-Lead Organizations:

  • Indigenous Languages of Manitoba Inc. Logo
  • Indigenous Inclusion Directorate Logo
  • Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre Inc. Logo
  • University College of the North Logo

Partner Representatives:

  • Indigenous Languages of Manitoba Inc.
  • Brandon University
  • Manitoba Metis Federation–Louis Riel Institute
  • Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre
  • Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre Inc.
  • Manitoba Inuit Association
  • Red River College
  • School District of Mystery Lake
  • University of Winnipeg
  • University of Manitoba
  • University College of the North
  • Winnipeg School Division
  • Frontier School Division
  • Indigenous Inclusion Directorate/Manitoba Education and Training

Intent of the Partners

  • Recognize the importance of working together to achieve positive outcomes for all partners
  • Build strong relationships with each other in a consistent and positive manner
  • Ensure cooperative and meaningful consultation around issues or opportunities of mutual concern
  • Explore joint work and resource sharing in areas of mutual interest to achieve our stated goal
  • Participate in forums and events around key committee issues as opportunity presents
  • Commit to working constructively and collaboratively with partners to achieve our stated goal

Guiding Principles

  1. We will be open, honest and truthful in our relationships with our respective work organizations and with each other.
  2. We will provide accurate and timely reports of our activities to our respective organizations and partner working groups.
  3. We will respect each partner’s autonomy and responsibilities while recognizing the partnership may require change and innovation.
  4. We will build relationships that celebrate achievements, address challenges and acknowledge contributions.

MALS Grandparents Council

The Manitoba Aboriginal Language Strategy (MALS) is privileged and honoured to receive ongoing guidance from the MALS Council of Grandparents comprised of fluent speakers and sacred traditional knowledge keepers. These Grandparents represent each of the seven Aboriginal language groups found in Manitoba.

It is important to recognize that the Grandparents are the foundation of MALS. Grandparents’ provide knowledge, experiences and the first hand information required for the implementation of MALS actions and Strategy. Grandparents support and validate decisions recommended by MALS Working Groups. When needed, the Grandparents will provide mentorship to the various working groups within MALS.

Grandparents Protocol

The MALS Grandparents Council holds four meetings per year, which are a part from all other MALS meetings. These meetings provide the Grandparents with the opportunity to consult with each other, to discuss issues of concern, to communicate in their languages, to share stories, and to promote an atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie in the Council.

Grandparents Council

MALS would like to recognize late Mosoom Don Robertson for all his work in helping to retain, revitalize, and promote Aboriginal languages.

Wanbdi Wakita photo
Wanbdi Wakita

Nation: Dakota
Language: Dakota

Martha Peet photo
Martha Peet

Nation: Inuit
Language: Inuktitut

Catherine Moise photo
Catherine Moise

Nation: Denesulline
Language: Dene

Nelliane Cromarty photo
Nelliane Cromarty

Nation: Ojibwe-Cree
Language: Ansininemowin

Patricia Ningewance photo
Patricia Ningewance

Nation: Ojibwe
Language: Anishnaabemowin

George Fleury photo
George Fleury

Nation: Métis
Language: Michif

Verna Demontingy  photo
Verna Demontingy

Nation: Métis
Language: Michif

Stella Neff photo
Stella Neff

Nation: Cree
Language: Ininimowin