Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

October 22, 2010 15:41 ET

Government of Canada Supports Talking with Technology Project

ALERT BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Member of Parliament (Vancouver Island North), today announced funding for the U'mista Cultural Society (UCS) for their project Talking with Technology.

The funding will allow the UCS to create new learning materials in the Kwak'wala language, which will include the production of audio and video recordings of speakers talking about traditional and cultural aspects of fishing, food preparation, plants and animals, singing, and dancing. These recordings will be transcribed in the Kwak'wala orthography, and 12 new language lesson plans will be prepared. These resources will be made available to community members, schools, and community language classes through the UCS website.

"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Aboriginal organizations that contribute to the safeguarding and revitalization of Aboriginal languages," said Minister Moore. "These lessons, to be developed and created using the latest technologies, will help ensure that unique elements of the Kwak'wala language and its dialects can be shared and passed down from generation to generation."

"The addition of these learning materials to the Society's educational database will support the advancement of the Kwak'wala language," said Minister Duncan. "The UCS is playing an important role for this community and is contributing to a vibrant and sustainable culture."

"This support from the Government of Canada will help the U'mista Cultural Society continue the important work being done to strengthen the retention and maintenance of the Kwak'wala language," said Sarah E. Holland, Executive Director for the U'mista Cultural Center. "This project will make a significant contribution to the intergenerational transmission of the Kwak'wala language and the preservation of Kwakwaka'wakw culture."

The Government of Canada has provided $44,100 in funding through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative 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.

(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