Promoting and preserving Gaelic is a now key aim for Highland Council.
Hot on the heels of the Highlands hosting the 2017 Royal National Mod in Fort William last month, Gaelic was on the agenda at Highland Council’s meeting of the Corporate Resources Committee with an update on the role and work of the Gaelic Strategy and Implementation Group.
The group, which was established in May this year, involves the Strategic Committee Chairs, representatives from all political parties and officers from each service. Its remit includes monitoring the implementation of the Council’s Gaelic Language Plan 3, a draft of which was submitted to Bòrd na Gáidhlig in September.
Other priorities of the group are to liaise with partners and to lobby in order to promote Gaelic and its associated culture and to ensure Gaelic is to the fore in the council’s corporate programme – Highland Voices-Local Choices.
In this programme is a priority for the council to continue to promote and support the Gaelic language and culture through its Gaelic Language. This strategic and corporate approach to promoting Gaelic involves the council continuing to work closely with the Scottish Government, Bòrd na Gáidlig and other agencies.
A paper on the position of Gaelic education in Highland will be presented at the People Committee on 6th December and a report produced by Highlands and Islands Enterprise on Gaelic as an economic asset will be discussed at the January meeting of the Gaelic Strategy and Implementation Group. The group has also started to look to how appropriate questions relating to Gaelic can be best incorporated into the next national census in 2021.
Councillor Andrew Baxter, leader of the Lochaber Committee and Vice Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee took the opportunity at today’s meeting to highlight the success of the recent Mod and to congratulate all competitors and organisers.
He said: “The Royal National Mòd is the biggest and most important festival of the Gaelic language in the world so I am delighted that the 2017 Mòd in Lochaber has been hailed by everyone as a great success. With a record number of competitors and entries up from young people it shows that Gaelic is a thriving, living, modern language and I look forward to seeing the results of the economic impact study report due out at the end of January.
“On behalf of Highland Council I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the competitors, the Local Organising Committee, An Comunn Gàidhealach and all the volunteers for their hard work to ensure that Mòd Lochaber will be remembered for many years to come and we look forward to the festival coming back to the Highlands in 2020.”
The council has a concordat with An Comunn Gàidhealach in relation to the delivery of Royal National Mòds in the Highlands, and will be preparing for the next Highland Mod which will take place in Inverness in 2020.