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NEWS RELEASE · 5th January 2011
Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced on December 20, a three-year renewal of the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, as well as a new formula for First Nations languages that distributes funding according to the regional realities of languages across Canada.

The new funding formula for First Nations languages is based on regional distribution of these languages. First Nations organizations active in language initiatives in provinces and territories with a greater number of languages will have access to more funding than those where fewer languages are found. The new formula comes into effect on April 1, 2011.

"Language is critical to the maintenance and transmission of cultural identity," said Minister Moore. "With the renewal of the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, we are ensuring that support continues for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit language revitalization."

Minister Moore also announced funding for 16 language projects in British Columbia: 12 under the auspices of the First Peoples' Cultural Foundation and 4 other First Nations projects. Under the renewed program, funding available to eligible projects in British Columbia will increase significantly – from $232,470 to $834,400.

"Ensuring that languages are seen and heard as living languages within Aboriginal communities is essential for them to thrive," added Minister Moore. "Our Government is committed to safeguarding these languages and supports Aboriginal communities in their efforts to protect and enhance them."

Funding for these projects is provided through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI) of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Aboriginal Peoples' Program. The goal of ALI is to support the preservation and promotion of Aboriginal languages for future generations of Aboriginal peoples and other Canadians.

Clay Harmon, Conservative Candidate for the Skeena Bulkley Valley Electoral District attended for the announcement with the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages regarding the Aboriginal Languages Initiative.

The announcement took place Monday, December 20, 2010 at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.