Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

March 14, 2008 14:30 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Michif Language

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 14, 2008) - Michif, a language spoken by the Metis, will be preserved, promoted, and revitalized in Saskatchewan thanks to the Michif Language Project, which is being supported by the Government of Canada.

On behalf of the Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, Carol Skelton, Member of Parliament (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar), today announced funding for the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research.

The Institute will undertake the Michif Language Project, which will work to ensure the intergenerational transmission of the Michif language, culture, and worldview and provide opportunities for the language's continued use. A federal investment of $125,000 will assist the Institute with the development of project components, including visual art and biographies of notable Metis people, the creation of a secretariat to support a strategy that identifies and links Metis speakers to the Institute's initiatives, and community-based projects and initiatives to preserve and promote the Michif language.

"The Metis people have a rich cultural heritage, and the Michif language is an important part of that heritage," said Minister Verner. "The Gabriel Dumont Institute's language project will provide people in this province, particularly young people, with opportunities to learn about this important part of Metis tradition."

"The strength of the Michif language is important to Metis communities in Canada," said Mrs. Skelton. "A shared history strengthens community bonds and helps form the foundation for a bright future."

"Through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, Canadian Heritage provides the resources necessary for the Gabriel Dumont Institute to work with Michif speakers to strengthen the retention and maintenance of the Michif languages," said Geordy McCaffrey, Executive Director of the Gabriel Dumont Institute. "This makes a significant contribution to their intergenerational transmission. Preserving the language preserves Metis culture."

The Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research is a not-for-profit organization that gives Metis people in Saskatchewan the opportunity to obtain training and education.

The Government of Canada has provided this funding under the Aboriginal Languages Initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This initiative provides support to Aboriginal organizations and communities to maintain and revitalize Aboriginal languages for future generations by increasing the number of Aboriginal language speakers, by encouraging language transmission from generation to generation, and by expanding the use of Aboriginal languages in family and community settings.

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage,
    Status of Women and Official Languages
    Dominic Gosselin
    Press Secretary
    819-997-7788
    or
    Canadian Heritage
    Donald Boulanger
    A/Chief, Media Relations
    819-994-9101