Language Policy Hackathon: Report

By: Eliana Trinaistic, MCIS Language Solutions & Niha Shahzad, Policy Innovation Initiative Click here to read the final report. Language access is a complex topic and one that is highly volatile. On the one hand, the views on language access are constantly changing and evolving due to changes in migration patterns or technology. On the other hand, they remain fundamentally grounded in the concept of nationhood. The scope of language rights is determined by a…

Multiculturalism in Canada: Are We Doing Enough to Promote Linguistic Diversity?

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator Most people, both inside and outside the borders of Canada, are familiar with the generalization that Canada is a very multicultural nation. At the very least, this sentiment is always brought up when discussing Canada’s major cities. Every opportunity we get, we celebrate this image of diversity and openness to multiculturalism. Take the following stories and ads as examples: https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hockey-night-punjabi-representation/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-raptors-inspiring-city-and-country-1.5149411 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQzxb-lU2pk Certain facts definitely reinforce this idea of…

Aphasia Awareness: No Matter What Language You Speak, Language Matters

June is Aphasia Awareness Month, which is as good a time as any to share how much it shocks me that so few people know about Aphasia. Consider that 1 in 3 Canadians who survive a stroke have Aphasia. The disorder is not uncommon, and it’s certainly something that cannot be ignored, especially as rates are expected to increase with Canada’s silver tsunami (i.e. ageing population). My first exposure to Aphasia was in the first…

Decolonizing Memories: Takeaways from the Memories of Mogadishu Conference

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager The Memories of Mogadishu Conference (#MOM19), which took place at the Ottawa Art Gallery on May 4th, 2019, was curated by documentary filmmaker and second generation Somali-Canadian Asha Siad. The goal of the conference was to gather international speakers, most of them with strong ties to Somalia and Mogadishu, storytellers, historians, members of the library and archival community, as well as students of Somali origin to explore themes regarding the…

African American Spirituals and the Slavery Connection: When the Song is the Message and More

By Gregory Bourne, Sales Representative As with many black families whose parents migrated from the West Indies in the late sixties, my sister and I were raised in a Christian household. My mother started hauling us to church when I was six. Dressed in my Sunday best, I wore a pint-sized suit, impossibly shiny black shoes, and the most annoying clip-on-tie. I looked like a cute, black but very angry ventriloquist dummy. As I got…

Bangladesh’s Fight, the World’s Prize: The History of International Mother Language Day

By Sarah Haque, Board Administration and Communication Coordinator I have heard from more than one non-Bengali speaker that when they hear Bengali spoken it sounds sweet and melodious. I speak Bengali. It is my mother tongue. My language is my identity. But these feelings and my story would’ve been entirely different if Bengali student demonstrators, Abdus Salam, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Abul Barkat, Abdul Jabbar and many others hadn’t sacrificed their lives and become language martyrs….

The Ultimate Language Hack: Highlights from the Language Policy Hackathon

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator 25 percent. The figure marks the near percentage of working Canadian immigrants in 2016. The following year, 60 percent of the country’s increase in employment was from immigrants joining the work force. So to anyone who genuinely believes that immigrants should not be welcomed into Canadian society, we must ask, what would we do without them? As for those who support migration to Canada, and who believe in it,…

The What, Why, Who and How of the Language Policy Hackathon, Part I

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager What Depending on the angle, a policy hackathon could be a simple gathering of interested parties having a conversation about political processes – how policies are being made or articulated. After all, policies are the main instrument of a government’s agenda and the key to public spending. In that context, some see policy hackathons as a disruption to top-down delivery by introducing fresh and creative public input. Hackathons are…

MCIS & Pii Introduce: Language Policy Hackathon

By Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager In 2019, Canada will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the first Official Languages Act of 1969. To ensure that the language rights are guaranteed (as outlined in the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms), the Act has undergone revision, albeit only one, and that was 20 years ago. The Government recognized the need for modernizing the policy. So in 2018, public consultations on the…

The Polyglot Profiles – Sara Maria Hasbun

The Polyglot Profiles – Introducing Sara Maria Hasbun Sara Maria Hasbun is the founder and Managing Director of Meridian Linguistics, a linguistic consulting firm that offers translation and other language services to global businesses. Their linguists and translators work remotely from all over the world. Sara Maria is American, but currently based in South Korea. She also recently started a blog and YouTube channel (Misslinguistic) in which she chronicles her adventures in extreme language learning;…