Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

April 24, 2009 10:03 ET

The Government of Canada Provides Funding for Aboriginal Languages

BRANTFORD, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 24, 2009) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament (Brant), today announced funding for Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council, an organization that promotes Aboriginal languages across Ontario.

The funding will enable Sweetgrass to undertake seven short-term projects, including the design and development of a website to serve Aboriginal-language communities in Ontario, the documentation of the last fluent speakers of Lenni Lenape/Delaware language, Cayuga language resource mapping at Woodland Cultural Centre, the documentation of hunting and gathering practices in the Oneida language, and research into Anishinaabek, Mushkegowuk, and Onkwehonwe languages.

"Our Government is proud to support the work Sweetgrass is doing to document, maintain, and strengthen First Nations languages for future generations," said Minister Moore. "Since 1989, the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council has been a champion in providing leadership and counsel in the preservation and promotion of Ontario's 13 First Languages."

"Aboriginal culture has always been an integral part of our shared history," said Mr. McColeman. "I'm proud that this funding will help local Aboriginal voices continue to tell their stories."

"This supplemental funding will assist a number of community projects and activities to support critically endangered languages in Ontario," said Amos Key Jr., Ontario Aboriginal Language Initiative Regional Coordinator, Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council. "It is essential that we document and preserve these endangered 'multi-dimensional' languages, as they carry within them the intellect and world views of the first civilizations of Ontario."

The Government of Canada has provided $104,995 in funding through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, part of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. This program supports the full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian society and the promotion, revitalization, and preservation of Aboriginal languages and cultures. It also helps Aboriginal peoples address the social, cultural, economic, and political issues affecting their lives. The Aboriginal Languages Initiative provides funding to support the preservation and promotion of Aboriginal languages to increase the use of these languages in community and family settings. This funding is in addition to $697,410 that Sweetgrass receives under a three-year agreement to deliver financial support for Aboriginal language community-based projects.

This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Deirdra McCracken - Director of Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations