Harper Government Invests in Revitalization of the Nelueun Language

MASHTEUIATSH, QC, July 23, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ilnuatsh people of Mashteuiatsh—the only Aboriginal community in the Lac-Saint-Jean region—will be able to increase knowledge and use of the Nelueun language, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Member of Parliament (Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The funding will help the Société d'histoire et d'archéologie de Mashteuiatsh—an Aboriginal organization dedicated to safeguarding the Ilnu cultural heritage of the Ilnuatsh people of Mashteuiatsh—to develop intermediate-level learning tools for the Nelueun language. The learning tools will be available free of charge on a website managed by the Society. This project carries on from 2010-2011, when funding was provided to develop language-learning tools at the beginner's level.

"This year marks the start of the five-year countdown to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017," said Minister Moore. "Our Government is proud to invest in projects that contribute to our collective identity and define who we are as Canadians. On the road to 2017, let us continue to celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, prosperous, and free country we are today."

"It is important to support communities such as the Ilnuatsh people of Mashteuiatsh in their efforts to ensure transmission of their language, because these communities are the most likely to keep these languages and cultures alive," said Minister Lebel. "Thanks to this funding, the Nelueun language will be promoted in the community, yielding considerable advantages for present and future generations."

"The Société d'histoire et d'archéologie de Mashteuiatsh wishes to thank the Government of Canada for its investment in our project to develop learning tools for the Nelueun language," said Jean-Denis Gill, Executive Director of the Society. "We are very pleased to receive funding for a second consecutive year. The expected results will help our community encourage the use of our language so that it can spread and flourish. We also wish to thank our partner, Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan, which has supported this project for two years."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $71,000 through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative of the Aboriginal Peoples' Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This initiative seeks to encourage and support community projects that help revitalize and preserve Aboriginal languages and increase their use in Aboriginal communities.


SOURCE: Canadian Heritage

For further information:

(media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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


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