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SASKATOON, April 12, 2007 – On behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, the Honourable Carol Skelton, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar), today announced $125,000 in funding for the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research Inc. The funds supported a 2006-2007 project to promote the intergenerational transmission of the Michif language and culture, and to provide opportunities for the language’s continued use.
“The strength of the Michif language is important for Canada’s Métis communities, which are an important part of Canada’s shared heritage,” said Minister Oda. “Our government is pleased to help promote the use of this language.”"Canada’s New Government supports the preservation and promotion of First Nation, Inuit and Métis languages,” said Minister Skelton. “We are proud to support the Gabriel Dumont Institute’s work to preserve and promote the Michif language.”
Funding to the Gabriel Dumont Institute has supported language learning materials, a Michif Speakers Association, community-based projects, and the 6th National Michif Conference. The goal of these initiatives is to increase the number of Michif speakers, expand opportunities for speaking the language, and ensure that greater numbers of young people learn it.
“In addition to the development and delivery of Métis-specific educational programs and services, the Gabriel Dumont Institute’s (GDI) mission includes the promotion and renewal of Métis culture through research and materials development,” said Geordy McCaffrey, Executive Director of the GDI. “The Aboriginal Languages Initiative provides the resources necessary for the GDI to work with Michif speakers to strengthen the retention and maintenance of the Michif language, while making a significant contribution to their intergenerational transmission. Preserving the language preserves Métis culture.”
The Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides Métis people in Saskatchewan with the opportunity to obtain training and education.
Canada’s New Government has provided this funding through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, which forms part of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Program. This program supports the full participation and cultural revitalization of Aboriginal people in Canadian society, and enables Aboriginal peoples to address the social, cultural, economic and political issues affecting their lives.
The Aboriginal Languages Initiative provides $5 million per year to support the preservation, revitalization and promotion of Aboriginal languages by facilitating the use of these languages in community and family settings.
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Status of Women
A/Chief, Media Relations
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