Aboriginal cultures and languages highlighted with the launch of a new initiative from Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec
WENDAKE, QC, April 3, 2019 – Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ) officially launched the Aboriginal Cultures and Languages Initiative today during an event held in Wendake. Several partners and representatives from Québec’s Aboriginal communities accepted the invitation from Ms. Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Ms. Sylvie D’Amours, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Mr. Konrad Sioui, Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Mr. Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), and Mr. Michel Robitaille, President and CEO of LOJIQ.
Aboriginal writer, poet and actress Ms. Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, who has participated many times in LOJIQ’s programs, hosted the event, which began with a smudge, or spiritual cleansing, ceremony and included personal stories and artistic performances.
The Aboriginal Cultures and Languages Initiative
Québec adopted a new cultural policy (Partout, la culture) in 2018 and also released its Plan d’action gouvernemental en culture 2018-2023. Under measure 10 of the cultural action plan, LOJIQ wishes to make a significant contribution to the promotion of Aboriginal cultures and languages by assisting young artists and cultural workers in developing their careers and accessing national and international networks. The Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie (MRIF) has therefore allocated an amount of $500,000 over five years, which can be used for various projects. The Aboriginal Cultures and Languages Initiative also aims to enhance the synergy between the artistic, cultural and social involvement sectors in order to promote Québec’s Aboriginal cultural identity and encourage understanding. The MRIF has mandated LOJIQ to implement this initiative among young Aboriginal adults aged 18 to 35.
With support from LOJIQ, projects become reality!
Under this initiative, LOJIQ strives to support projects involving regional, national and international mobility submitted by community members or proposed by Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec and its partners for and with Aboriginal youth. The funding will help young Aboriginal adults develop professional skills in the cultural and sociocultural sectors and provide support for their mobility needs associated with their first artistic or professional development experiences. It will also help promote Aboriginal cultures by providing young project initiators with a springboard for their ideas. The initiative will enable Aboriginal youth to participate in multicultural projects organized in Québec, Canada and abroad. It will also help support project development in collaboration with artists, cultural workers and Aboriginal organizations as well as expand the notion of art and culture, in line with Aboriginal realities, particularly with regard to cultural projects that promote language and heritage.
“I am proud to announce funding in the amount of $500,000 over five years for LOJIQ to support cultural and social involvement projects for Aboriginal youth, such as the initiative launched today. The timing of this initiative could not be better as it comes on the heels of the launch of the International Year of Indigenous Languages by UNESCO just a few weeks ago. Québec is a proud partner of UNESCO.”
Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie
“The diversity of Aboriginal cultures and languages is truly a precious asset. Every action taken to protect and promote them is welcomed with open arms. For that reason, we are pleased to be associated with the Aboriginal Cultures and Languages Initiative, organized by Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec, because it contributes to a desire to preserve and promote this cultural wealth and diversity. We would like to support the development of cultural governance implemented by and for communities in a way that respects their concerns and realities, because the province of Québec is defined in part by the First Nations and the Inuit nation.”
Sylvie D’Amours, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs
“This initiative is another example of the support that LOJIQ already provides to Aboriginal communities. For instance, over the past two years, 137 young Aboriginal adults received support from LOJIQ to carry out their projects in about 15 countries across four continents. We have worked tirelessly to develop partnerships with many different organizations. We are delighted that this new government initiative will help bolster our efforts to support Aboriginal cultures and languages and to promote them in Québec, Canada and abroad.”
Michel Robitaille, President and CEO of LOJIQ
LOJIQ unites two organizations, namely the Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse (OFQJ) and the Office Québec Monde pour la jeunesse (OQMJ), which assist and support over 5,000 young Quebecers between the ages of 18 and 35 every year in their efforts to further their personal and professional development through rewarding and educational mobility experiences in Québec, Canada and abroad. LOJIQ is also involved in welcoming nearly 3,000 young adults from outside Québec. LOJIQ reports to the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie.
For further information: Source: Jonathan Leibel, Information and Public Relations Officer, LOJIQ – Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec, Cell: 438 994-1189, firstname.lastname@example.org; Information: Thierry Paquet, Communications Advisor, Direction des communications et des affaires publiques, Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie, Tel.: 418 649-2400, ext. 57819