By Min Park (10th Grade, Newton South High School)

     Many young people in Canada are starting to engross themselves more in their culture. They are called Indigenous activists and many of them are starting to learn their native language, because “more than 45% of on-reserve youth say learning a First Nations language is very important to them” and almost half of them understand or speak a First Nations language. These indigenous activists also believe that the embrace of the language are helping them find their voice in culture and politics. Brian Maracle, is the program coordinator of the Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa Mohawk language school outside Toronto and is helping many people find their culture by learning their own languages. Canada is supportive of these indigenous activists and the cultured youth, because the canadian government spends about $9m a year on aboriginal language preservation programs. Canadians are not waiting for the culture to come to them, they have already gone in search for their language.

 Canada is a diverse country, and is filled with many people from different backgrounds. It is important that the Canadian government is supportive of people who are trying to learn their native by learning the language. Culture is something that everyone has, and it is vital that the government is able to help their people. The youth is especially important because culture gives the young people their own perspective. Language is something that many people feel that is “theirs”, and this very strong history of our people starting to feel proud of ourselves helps the young people become more visible and becoming stronger and becoming more active. The Canadian government has been contributing money on fundings for language preservation programs. This should become an important issue for the government to discuss and try to solve because not everyone is able to find their native language.

     Another current event going on in Canada is about how the Canadian government is dealing with the ICC.

     The ICC is short for International Criminal Court and deals with prosecution of individuals for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Canada has historically been a leading voice for international accountability.  Canada was the “last Western state to lend its support to a UN security Council referral” of the crisis in Syria to the ICC. They were also the only ones of the ICC to “oppose the consensus on expanding” the ICC’s budget. Changing Ottawa’s tone about international justice is the easiest shift that a new government could make. Many Canadians have already made remarkable contributions in shaping the project of international criminal justice. Washington has created an “ambassador-at-large” for war crime issues as a position in their government. Canada has a strong record of encouraging respect for human rights and the rule of law via diplomacy as well.

     However, Canada’s government should create a position similar to the one in Washington for improvement. This would establish  “public, political and legal office” to represent a country in international fora and carry the baton of Canada’s commitment to International Justice. In 2005, the Canadian government donated $500,000 to the ICC investigation of atrocities in Darfur. Although the court cannot investigate Syria unless the UN security council refers the situation, Canada could take a lead role in investigation themselves. Overall, the Canadian government should contribute more to bettering the situations that the ICC deals with my making more generous donations and taking important roles in investigating.