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The Gaelic Language Bill Consultation Paper

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The Gaelic Language Bill
Consultation Paper

Ministerial Foreword

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Gaelic is a language of Scotland facing real challenges but with huge opportunities and the Scottish Executive supporting its future.

The following pages contain the Scottish Executive's proposals for a Gaelic Language Bill. This is an important milestone in the Executive's commitment to the Gaelic language and culture and in securing its status. As Minister with responsibility for Gaelic, I am very pleased to be responsible for the preparation of this Bill. I look forward to seeing the enactment of the first Gaelic Language Act in Scottish history.

I am confident this Bill recognises the status of Gaelic in Scotland and will promote its use in a wide range of contexts. Our aim is to create a sustainable future for Gaelic in Scotland. I am clear that legislation by itself can not achieve this. We need to see the Gaelic language passed on within families, promoted by schools, widely used in communities and valued by learners. I believe this Bill will create the context and the confidence which will make this possible.

In the Partnership Agreement for a Better Scotland the Executive made a commitment to legislate to provide secure status for Gaelic through a Gaelic Language Bill. I believe this demonstrates the Executive's support for Gaelic in Scotland. This Bill will enable us to build on previous Executive initiatives in support of Gaelic and to affirm Gaelic as one of Scotland's languages.

I commend to you the proposals for a Gaelic Language Bill and I look forward to receiving your comments.

Signature

Peter J Peacock, MSP
Minister for Education and Young People