Marianne Ignace

Royal Society honours Marianne Ignace for language revitalization

December 22, 2021

Preservation of Indigenous languages has long been at risk. However, thanks to Marianne Ignace, a distinguished professor in the SFU Departments of Linguistics and Indigenous Studies, there have been significant efforts by her and her team to rejuvenate, revitalize and protect Indigenous languages.

As director of the Indigenous Languages Program at SFU, Ignace is renowned for building successful research partnerships with Indigenous communities as she collaborates with them to revitalize their languages, oral traditions and ecological knowledge. She has authored and co-authored papers in various journals and books on these topics, and has also carried out research in the field of Aboriginal language revitalization, some of which is published in the Handbook for Aboriginal Language Program Planning in B.C. In recent years, she has worked with First Nations communities and elders on various language revitalization projects, including Secwepemctsin, St’at’imcets, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Haida and Sm’algyax.

In 2020 Ignace was recognized and honoured when she was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, the nation’s highest academic honour.