Statement by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett on Family Literacy Day
Ottawa, Ontario (January 27, 2016) – The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today, on Family Literacy Day:
“Over the last month, I’ve been delighted to see many positive reactions to the idea of an Indigenous Book Club month. The idea was inspired, in part, by my friend the late Brenda Zimmerman, a professor at York University and a passionate advocate for social innovation. Today, that idea has blossomed into a national dialogue – about Indigenous authors, about how we can bring this idea to fruition, and about literacy.
What better day than Family Literacy Day to keep that conversation going? ABC Life Literacy Canada created this day in 1999 to raise awareness of the importance of reading, writing and lifelong learning. Literacy is important for all of us – for school, work and play, and for the skills we all need in daily life.
Improving literacy can also make Canada stronger, contributing to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities by increasing understanding and shared learning. That’s why, today, I want to encourage all Canadians to consider adding an Indigenous book to their reading list. Whether you have a book club, read often to your children, or simply enjoy a good book, Indigenous titles are among the world’s best reading today.
I’ve also asked my Department to help plan for and create an Indigenous Book Club, which will be launched in June with Aboriginal History Month – through outreach, events, web and social media activities – stay tuned for details over the coming months. In the meantime, I invite all Canadians to join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #IndigenousReads. Let’s get literacy trending!”
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada