Dyfodol i’r Iaith welcomes the discussions currently taking place between Labour and Plaid Cymru and hopes that this will provide an opportunity to reset the agenda in terms of policies to support the Welsh language.
Heini Gruffudd, the organisation’s Chair said:
“We will be encouraging both parties to regard these discussions as an opportunity to consider the true needs of the Welsh language in order to meet the target of creating a million Welsh speakers.”
Among their priorities, the organisation calls upon both parties to:
- Elevate the status of the Welsh Language Division within Government
- Extend Welsh language medium education and introduce an ambitious Welsh language training programme for education workers
- Draw up a Planning policy which protects the language and addresses the housing crisis
- Act urgently to implement the recommendations of Dr Simon Brooks’s report on
- Develop the Arfor scheme which aims to promote Welsh and develop the economy of the language’s heartlands
- Extend the use of the Welsh language within the workplace
- Strengthen the language’s status within the private sector
And finally, and with no cost implications at all –
- Increase the use of the Welsh language within the Senedd, including leaders and ministers.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has called for a national discussion on how to ensure that the needs of the Welsh language and racial equality can be harmonised and promoted. This is in response to the recent report on the opportunities provided by the Arts Council of Wales and the National Museum Wales for black people and people of colour.
In the press, particularly the English press, the report’s conclusions were reported as being an indictment of the Welsh language, as if language requirements are invariably a barrier to equality and diversity within these sectors.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“The press’s interpretation of this report was provocative and erroneous, suggesting that it is not possible for a black person or person of colour to speak or learn Welsh. We know, of course, that this suggestion is both offensive and nonsensical and that many more appropriate and flexible opportunities to learn the language are needed.
Promoting the Welsh language and ensuring racial equality is not a matter of choice or prioritisation; both must go hand in hand if the Welsh language is to flourish and be enriched by becoming the medium for diverse experiences.
Neither is the Welsh Government free from this fallacy. They have rightly decided to include the history of black people and people of colour within the National Curriculum, but have not acknowledged the need to learn about Welsh history. Once again, this is not a matter of either / or. History is key to our understanding of the present, and without the specific context of Welsh history, the history of black people and people of colour in Wales is deprived of the framework which is essential to our understanding of that history.”
Following reports that a company based at the Shard in London has bought farms in Carmarthenshire for planting forestry, Dyfodol i’r Iaith has called upon the Welsh Government to adopt comprehensive environmental policies which protect communities as well as the planet, based upon the principles of its own Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.
On behalf of Dyfodol, Cynog Dafis said:
*Burning fossil fuels has undoubtedly been the main cause of global warming, and while accepting the pressing need for more forests to capture carbon, it is a sorry situation that these large companies are now trying to greenwash their activities while accumulating grants and profit at the expense of Welsh communities, their culture and assets.
We therefore call upon the Welsh Government to keep in mind the principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and acknowledge that sustainability is based upon consideration of the environment, communities and the key role played by the economy. It should adopt policies which protect the prosperity of the community rather than selling local assets to those that, through greed, are mainly responsible for the precariousness of the planet.
We insist that the Welsh Government develops policies that are genuinely sustainable, and work hand in hand with rural communities to protect their ownership of the land while ensuring maximum carbon capture and carbon neutral use. Wales has an abundance of Agri-ecologists, who are as knowledgeable about the needs of the planet as the contribution of food producers and the local economy. This is the kind of extensive and balanced expertise that needs to inform policy-making, not a retread of the old disastrous route of prioritising the interests of those who are mainly responsible for the damage.”