The Government of Canada Announces Funding to Support Indigenous Languages in Southern Alberta

News release

GATINEAU, April 27, 2018

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced today that the Government of Canada has provided approximately $1,001,500 in funding to organizations in Southern Alberta via the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI).

This includes almost $200,000 for the Tsuut’ina Nation’s Tsuut'ina Gunaha School Language Incorporation Strategy, approximately $141,000 for Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society’s Blackfoot Language Keepers, $358,000 for Peigan Board of Education Society’s Piikani Language Revitalization Project, $80,000 for the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, approximately $124,000 for Pathways Community Services Association’s Indigenous Languages and Literacy Program: Cree Language, and $98,500 for Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary: Alberta’s Indigenous Languages and Literacy Program.

Through their activities, these organizations support their communities by offering language classes, and language and culture camps. With this funding, the Opokaa’sin Early Intervention Society will produce and deliver 25 online stories in beginner and intermediate Blackfoot language, which will be made available on the Society’s website.

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.


“Indigenous languages are an integral part of our country’s identity and play an important role in the sharing of culture. We are proud to work with these partners to support their community efforts by funding these important projects, as part of the Government’s commitment to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • Through Budget 2017, the Government invested $89.9 million over the next three years to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages and cultures.

  • Canadian Heritage provides funding to communities to support revitalization, preservation and promotion of Indigenous languages through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI).

  • The Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI), a funding component of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Program, 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 a 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.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Simon Ross
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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