Support for Indigenous Languages in Nova Scotia

News release

MEMBERTOU, July 11, 2018

Today Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament (Sydney-Victoria), announced that the Government of Canada has provided $100,000 in funding to Mi’kmaw-Kina’matnewey through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

With this funding, Mi’kmaw-Kina’matnewey will prepare and deliver 400 hours of a Mi’kmaq master-apprentice program for 15 mentors and 15 apprentices from Membertou. The funding will also cover 50 language kits to be produced for the master-apprentice groups and future participants.

Mi’kmaw-Kina’matnewey is a non-profit Indigenous organization located in Membertou. It is dedicated to improving the quality of education and to preserving and revitalizing the Mi’kmaw language for the Mi’kmaq people.

Today's announcement, made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, is part of the federal government's effort to preserve, promote and revitalize First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages. This funding is provided through the ALI, which supports community-based language projects that support the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages and increase their use in community settings.


“Language is at the core of our identity and culture. Our government recognizes that investing in the revitalization of Indigenous languages is a key part of advancing reconciliation. That is why we are proud to support Mi’kmaw-Kina’matnewey and the work that they do to help preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The language mentoring program by Mi’kmaw-Kina’matnewey is vital to maintaining culture and heritage in Cape Breton. Their work will help ensure that the Mi’kmaw language and the Mi’kmaq cultural identity are protected and enhanced, and will continue to be passed from generation to generation.”

—Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament (Sydney–Victoria)

“We greatly appreciate the contribution of Canadian Heritage Aboriginal Language Initiative funds to undertake this vital work in language revitalization. In the past number of years, we have started master-apprentice programs in our region with great success and great interest. We have seen results using this approach with our own people, and have witnessed growth in language confidence and language abilities. It is our hope to continue to offer programs to individuals who want to reclaim their language.”

—Blaire Gould, Mi'kmaw Language Specialist, Mi’kmaw-Kina’matnewey

Quick facts

  • As part of Budget 2017, the Government of Canada invested $89.9 million over three years to preserve, promote and revitalize Aboriginal languages and cultures. Of this amount, $69 million will be used to significantly improve the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI).

  • With this new funding, the ALI will have a maximum annual envelope of $19 million to support project delivery.

  • The ALI, a component of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Program administered by Canadian Heritage, supports the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages. It funds community projects and activities that include developing resources in an Indigenous language, offering language courses and creating language-preservation strategies.

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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