Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

October 18, 2010 12:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports Preservation of the Blackfoot Language

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 18, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Lee Richardson, Member of Parliament (Calgary Centre), today announced funding for the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY) for its Blackfoot Language Introduction Project.

This funding will enable USAY to develop tools to teach Aboriginal youth aged 15 to 24 the basics of the Blackfoot language. This includes building an online four-week course module, creating a digital library of interviews with native speakers of the language, and creating supporting documents that will help students with context and pronunciation.

"The Government of Canada is committed to the revitalization and preservation of Aboriginal languages," said Minister Moore. "This commitment is demonstrated through our continued support for the development of materials and resources that are designed to enable the use of Aboriginal languages."

"Learning a new language can be difficult without the right tools," said Mr. Richardson. "This project will provide Aboriginal youth living in Calgary with the necessary building blocks to learn and to improve their language skills. This will not only benefit youth today, but also help ensure that the language can be passed on to future generations."

"With the generous funding provided by Canadian Heritage, the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth will be able to promote and enhance the use of the Blackfoot language among urban Aboriginal youth through a comprehensive and easily accessed e-learning resource," said LeeAnne Sicker, USAY Executive Director.

The Government of Canada has provided $42,750 in funding through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) Innovation Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. The objective of this fund is to encourage and support innovative community-based language projects that use existing technology to revitalize and preserve Aboriginal languages and increase their use in community and family settings.

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Newsroom.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Jean-Luc Benoit - Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations