Supporting Community-Based Indigenous Language Projects in Manitoba

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 General News
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The Government of Canada announces funding for illustrated children's books that will be produced in Cree, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree and Inuktitut, along with English

and phonetics

WINNIPEG, Nov. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced that the Government of Canada

has provided funding in the amount of $87,973 for the Manitoba Children's Hospital Indigenous Language Program.

For this project, Canadian Heritage is partnering with Prince's Charities Canada (PCC), which will produce five illustrated children's books in Cree, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree and Inuktitut, along with English and phonetics. The stories will focus on themes of childhood development and health care. The books will also be recorded in each of the four Indigenous languages.

Along with the participation of the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, PCC is working with SayITFirst, the First Nations University of Canada and the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre, on this new project.

Today's announcement is part of the federal government's effort to ensure the preservation, revitalization and promotion of First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages. This initiative is funded through the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Languages Initiative, which supports community-based language projects that contribute to the revitalization and preservation of Indigenous languages and increase their use in community settings.


"There is no relationship more important to our government than the one with Indigenous Peoples. We know that the preservation, revitalization and promotion of Indigenous languages is a vital part of the process of reconciliation. Our government took an important step forward in announcing $89.9 million over three years toward this objective, but there is more to do. This great partnership will empower young patients to engage with their language and culture, while encouraging healing through the act of storytelling."

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"The Prince of Wales has long been an advocate for traditional wisdom. With this unique partnership, we hope to encourage children to learn their ancestral languages, while providing guidance and comfort during the stressful experience of illness."

Matthew Rowe, Vice-President, Prince's Charities Canada

"I cannot imagine a world where I would be denied a chance to snuggle up with my kids and to read to them in my own language. By bonding with our children through reading, we have the chance to proactively teach them about proper health care and to detect changes earlier, thereby keeping them healthier."

—Mike Parkhill, Founder of SayITFirst

"I am immensely proud of this new project, which helps Indigenous children deal with the struggles of illness while learning their traditional language and culture. I hope that these books provide an equal measure of comfort and pride to the families supported by the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

—His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

Quick Facts

Through Budget 2017, the Government is investing $89.9 million over the next three years to preserve, protect and revitalize Indigenous languages and cultures.

Canadian Heritage is responsible for Indigenous languages. The Aboriginal Peoples' Program (APP) focuses primarily on the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages and cultures, strengthening Indigenous cultural identity, and increasing Indigenous participation in Canadian Society.

The Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI), a funding component of the APP, supports the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages through community-based projects and activities that range from the development of printed resources in an Indigenous language, to language classes, to the development of language preservation strategies.

Since 2016–2017, with budget increase announced by the federal government to support Indigenous languages, ALI is now able to provide up to $19.5 million annually to projects.

In 2016–2017, ALI also funded PCC for a similar book project in Saskatchewan with the collaboration of SayItFirst. The book series was produced in three varieties of Cree, English and phonetics.

Associated Links

Prince's Charities Canada SayITFirst


SOURCE Canadian Heritage


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