Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

September 24, 2010 10:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports the Preservation and Revitalization of the Atikamekw and Innu Languages

WENDAKE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister for La Francophonie, and Minister responsible for the Quebec region, today announced funding for the Société de communication Atikamekw-Montagnais (SOCAM). This funding will allow the organization to broadcast 20 hours of radio programming in the Innu language and 27.5 hours of programming in the Atikamekw language each week.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of Aboriginal languages and continues to support efforts to preserve and revitalize them," said Minister Moore. "The radio programs in Innu and Atikamekw broadcast by SOCAM are making an important contribution to the protection and promotion of these two languages."

"Radio broadcasts in Innu and Atikamekw are an important means of preserving and promoting the use of these two living languages within the Aboriginal communities of the Quebec region," added Minister Verner. "The commitment we are making today will allow these communities to celebrate their cultural heritage and to pass it on to future generations."

"For the past 30 years, local community radio stations and the SOCAM broadcast network have allowed Atikamekw and Innu communities in the Mauricie, Lac-St-Jean, Côte-Nord, Basse-Côte-Nord, and Nouveau-Québec regions and the regions of Labrador to have a real tool for the development and promotion of their cultures and languages," said Bernard Hervieux, Executive Director of SOCAM. "The SOCAM broadcast network helps the population become aware that it is possible to take action socially, economically, and politically and helps them break free from the isolation caused by distance."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $578,258 to SOCAM through the Aboriginal Peoples' Program. This program of the Department of Canadian Heritage was established to strengthen cultural identity, encourage the full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian society, and support the preservation of Aboriginal languages and cultures as important components of Canadian society.

This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Jean-Luc Benoit - Director of Communications
    819-997-7788
    jean-luc.benoit@pch.gc.ca
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations
    819-994-9101
    1-866-569-6155
    media@pch.gc.ca