We Have to Hear Their Voices: A Research Project on Aboriginal Languages and Art Practice

Bruce Sinclair, Deborah Pelletier

Canada Council for the Arts

Aboriginal Reports

May 2012

This report outlines a range of concepts within Aboriginal worldviews that may be unknown to non-Aboriginal language speakers. It includes: 

  • background information and findings on demographics and trends on Aboriginal languages in Canada;
  • voices of the Elders, the wisdom keepers, who continue to pass on their knowledge of languages and the arts – both traditional and contemporary;
  • voices of the interview/talking circle and survey participants;
  • a summary of opportunities for further exploration.

Commissioned by the Canada Council the study was prepared by Bruce Sinclair, Program Officer, Theatre, Canada Council and Deborah Pelletier, an independent consultant specializing in Aboriginal education/languages. 

The study is a component of the Aboriginal Arts Research Initiative (AARI), which aims to better understand the specificities of Aboriginal art practices, explore the impact of the arts within Aboriginal communities, investigate the impact of Aboriginal arts in Canada and internationally, and generate interest in research related to Aboriginal arts among other partners, both at national and provincial levels. More information on the AARI.

Research and Evaluation Section
Canada Council for the Arts
April 2012