Language Learning in Indigenous Communities Submission to the Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
ANTaR notes that the Inquiry comes at a time when many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are critically endangered. Traditional languages provide speakers with a connection to their culture and their past, and a sense of identity and belonging. Conversely, language loss, and its resulting impact on culture and identity, has wide ranging implications for the health, economic opportunities and social welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The revitalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages is therefore closely connected with ANTaR’s efforts both to promote respect and affirmation for the rights and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to advocate for practical measures to improve social, economic and health outcomes (such as the Close the Gap campaign).