Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

November 23, 2009 15:46 ET

Government of Canada Invests in the Preservation of the Nakoda Language

MORLEY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Blake Richards, Member of Parliament (Wild Rose), today announced funding for the Rocky Mountain Nakoda Centre for Language and Culture Preservation (CLCP) for their Stoney Nakoda Language Preservation Project.

The funding will enable CLCP to digitize existing archives of previously recorded interviews with elders and traditionalists of the Stoney Nakoda Nation. Using a recently developed alphabet that accurately represents the linguistic sounds of the Nakoda language, CLCP will also transcribe these oral recordings to an authentic written Nakoda format.

"Aboriginal languages are among the most endangered in the world, and our Government is committed to working with Aboriginal peoples to preserve and enhance them," said Minister Moore.

"I am pleased that our Government recognizes the importance of Aboriginal languages and provides funding to help preserve and promote them," said Mr. Richards. "This funding will help protect the Nakoda language and help ensure that it is passed on to future generations."

"Language preservation serves to solidify our existence and identity," said Peter Wesley, CLCP Coordinator. "This initiative will ultimately serve to intensify the importance of preservation and maintenance of the Nakoda language for educational programs and for members of the Stoney Nakoda community."

The Government of Canada has provided $8,826 in funding through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) Innovation Fund (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/pa-app/pgm/ila-ali/index-eng.cfm). The objective of this fund is to encourage and support innovative community-based language projects that use existing technology to promote and preserve First Nations languages. ALI provides funding to support the preservation and promotion of Aboriginal languages to increase their use in community and family settings. The initiative is part of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program (http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/pa-app/index-eng.cfm), which supports the full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian society, and the promotion, revitalization, and preservation of Aboriginal languages and cultures. It also helps enable Aboriginal peoples to address the social, cultural, economic and political issues affecting their lives.

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    deirdra.mccracken@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca