Member of Parliament Gerald Keddy Announces Support for Mi'kmaq Language Learning Program
BRIDGEWATER, NS, Oct. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Member of Parliament (South Shore-St. Margaret's), on behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced support to the Mi'kmaq Burial Grounds Research & Restoration Association (MBGRR) for a Mi'kmaq language project.
"This program will be a great opportunity for the Mi'kmaq language to be seen and heard within the community," said Mr. Keddy. "Our Government is pleased to support a project that will have a positive impact on this community today and for generations to come."
This funding will allow the MBGRR to offer an intensive language training program to 20 participants. The program will have four phases and extend over a nine-month period. Phase 1 will be a five-day language immersion retreat, and phase 2 will be a Sunday language class lasting for 30 weeks. Phases 3 and 4 will consist of activities and tools that will enhance participants' speaking, listening, and reading skills.
"Our Government recognizes the importance of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis languages and cultures for Aboriginal communities and for all Canadians," said Minister Glover. "They are an integral part of Canada's identity, and we continue to support Aboriginal communities in their efforts to revitalize and preserve them."
"Our focus is to engage groups of families who want to learn how to speak and continue to speak their Mi'kmaq language, and we would like to offer a heartfelt thank you, wela'lin, to Canadian Heritage for accepting our Mi'kmaq language proposal. With this funding, we are able to continue our work in reviving our Mi'kmaq language and culture in the Maritimes, our great and native land," said Délina Petit Pas, Chairperson of the MBGRRA Board of Directors. "Learning to speak our Mi'kmaq language will give us the opportunity to listen to our oral history as it was handed down to us since the beginning of our time. Every word in Mi'kmaq has a profound—almost poetic—meaning that is in depth and extremely significant to keeping our tradition and spirituality alive."
The Government of Canada has provided funding of $66,060 through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. The objective of ALI is to support community-based language projects that contribute to the revitalization and preservation of Aboriginal languages and increase their use in community settings.
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(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)