NLIS 2
September 14, 2004
(Tourism, Culture and Recreation)

 

Labrador Heritage Society receives support to protect Inuktitut language

Tourism, Culture and Recreation Minister Paul Shelley today announced that the Labrador Heritage Society will receive $3,000 from the Cultural Economic Development Program to assist with a project designed to preserve a unique dialect of the Inuktitut language. There are currently only six people in Labrador who speak the Rigolet dialect, three of whom are elders in North West River.

"The Labrador Heritage Society plays an important role in the protection and promotion of the unique culture and heritage in Labrador," said Minister Shelley. "Preserving the language is an essential element in the development and promotion of the Inuit culture and heritage. This project will ensure the Inuktitut language, particularly the Rigolet dialect, is recorded and protected for years to come. The project also represents the first step of a project that will see the language passed on to others."

Government’s contribution will fund phase one of the project - the cost of hiring a linguist from Memorial University to work with the Labrador Heritage Society on the recording and transcribing of the Inuktitut dialect. The Labrador Heritage Society will then offer beginner and intermediate courses in Inuktitut cementing the revitalization of the vulnerable language.

John Hickey, MHA for the Lake Melville district said: "Government clearly recognizes the exceptional work of the Labrador Heritage Society in preserving Labrador cultural heritage and in promoting the entire region. I congratulate them on this project and commend them on their continued commitment to Labrador."

The Labrador Heritage Society is a not-for-profit organization established in 1973 whose mandate is to preserve, promote and protect the heritage and traditional culture of Labrador and its people.

The CEDP supports both the arts and heritage sectors. The arts sector will see investment in the areas of operational support, marketing and export for cultural products, as well as professional development. The heritage sector will see investment in the areas of conservation, presentation and interpretation of heritage resources, as well as professional development for heritage professionals.

For more information on the Cultural Economic Development Program, or to receive a copy of the program guidelines, contact Eleanor Dawson, Cultural Development Officer, at (709) 729-7397.

Media contact: Tansy Mundon, Communications, (709) 729-0928 or (709) 685-1741

2004 09 14                    10:00 a.m.


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