Government of Canada Announces Funding to Preserve Micmac Language and Culture in the Gaspé Region
Gaspé, Quebec, July 10, 2019
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine), today announced that the Government of Canada is investing $71,632 in La Nation Micmac de Gespeg’s efforts to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages in the Gaspé region. Minister Lebouthillier made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.
The Aboriginal Languages Initiative funding will be used to produce 1,500 copies of five 15-page glossaries. The glossaries will each focus on a different theme that is culturally relevant to the Micmac. Written in the Micmac language and translated into French and English, all members of the community, from beginner to advanced speakers, can use these resources. The glossaries will be free. They will be distributed during community activities and will also be available by mail. An app will also be created, featuring images and pronunciations. The app will be for all Micmac communities across the Gaspé region, and it will be on touchscreens at the Micmac Interpretation Site of Gespeg.
The interpretation site in Gaspé offers a permanent exhibit where visitors can explore Micmac culture and history over the seasons and the centuries. This interactive site encourages conversation and helps preserve Micmac traditions and culture.
“Most Indigenous languages in Canada are considered endangered. Our government is taking steps to help Indigenous Peoples in their efforts to revitalize, preserve, strengthen and reclaim their languages. The project announced today is part of that effort. We also passed an important milestone on June 21 with the adoption of the Act Respecting Indigenous Languages.”
– The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
“Indigenous languages are an integral part of the Indigenous identity and Canada’s cultural identity. They tell Indigenous Peoples’ stories and are fundamental part of their cultural heritage. We are proud to support the Nation Micmac de Gespeg glossary project, which will help preserve the Micmac culture, in the Micmac language, for future generations.”
– The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament (Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine)
UNESCO declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. According to UNESCO, three-quarters of the 90 Indigenous languages still alive today in Canada are considered “endangered.”
On June 21, the Governor General of Canada gave the Act Respecting Indigenous languages Royal Assent. Since 2017, Canadian Heritage has been working with three national Indigenous organizations in a concerted effort to develop this historic legislation, through meetings with more than 1,200 people across the country, and through online submissions.
Budget 2019 includes an investment of $333.7 million over five years followed by $115.7 million per year thereafter to support the implementation of the new law.
Canadian Heritage’s Aboriginal Languages Initiative supports the preservation, promotion and revitalization of First Nations, Métis and Inuit languages through community-based projects and initiatives including Indigenous languages documents, Indigenous languages courses and other strategies to preserve Indigenous languages.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
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