Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

October 21, 2010 13:30 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Mayatlan's Wila Culture and Language Group

PORT HARDY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 21, 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, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Member of Parliament (Vancouver Island North), today announced funding to the Mayatlan's Wila Culture and Language Group for their Kwak'wala Digital Language Project.

This funding will enable the organization to create 20 digital stories in the Kwak'wala language that will reflect daily activities, such as family meal times and home routines, as well as traditional events like food gathering. The stories will be designed specifically for early learners.

"Aboriginal languages play an important role in the preservation and transmission of culture from one generation to another. "Our Government is committed to the safeguarding of these languages and continues to support Aboriginal organizations in their efforts to protect and enhance them."

"It is well known that learning a language at a young age can be easier," said Minister Duncan. "By providing families with materials specifically designed for early learners, the Mayatlan's Wila Culture and Language Group will contribute to the advancement of the Kwak'wala language."

"Language is key to instilling a positive self esteem in anyone. It is the heart and soul of our people and when it is lost, we lose our connections to the land, sea, and to each other," said Sara Child, Project Coordinator. "This project is one of many that the group has undertaken to preserve our language and to help cultivate connections between our youth and the keepers of our language."

The Government of Canada has provided $32,328 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