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Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
January 13, 2010

Northern Labrador's OK Society Enhances Technology

The OKalaKatiget (OK) Society of Nain continues to take steps to modernize its broadcast studio and improve its delivery of local programming to the people of the North Coast and Lake Melville regions of Labrador with the support of a $31,757 investment from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. This investment brings the Provincial Government's total investment to the OK Society to nearly $200,000 since the original broadcast studio was destroyed by fire in 2005.

"The OK Society has a long history of producing programs that celebrate the culture of Northern Labrador and is an important contributor to the social and economic fabric of the region," said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "By modernizing its equipment, the OK Society will be better able to produce programming and export it to other stations across the country. This investment also ensures that the OK Society can continue to preserve and promote Aboriginal culture – a key part of the Provincial Government's groundwork towards strengthening the region's cultural tourism industry."

The investment enables the OK Society to purchase new high-definition television equipment, making its media centre more compatible with the purchasers of its programs such as the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

"In this world of global communications and the numerous avenues available to audiences world wide, the OKalaKatiget Society is creating and nurturing essential communications roadways that help to preserve the Inuit culture of Labrador," said the Honourable Patty Pottle, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. "We all have an obligation to safeguard our cultures and traditions, and I applaud the hard work and dedication the men and women of the OK Society demonstrate on a daily basis. The Williams Government is pleased to help contribute to their ongoing efforts to deliver valuable information, and culturally-relevant programming."

OKalaKatiget, pronounced "Oh-hala-hateh-geet", is an Inuktitut word meaning communicating with each other. Incorporated in 1982, the OK Society is a non-profit organization that provides Inuktitut and English language programming for people on the North Coast and Lake Melville regions of Labrador. Its mandate is to preserve and promote the language and culture of the Inuit, as well as encourage public awareness, discussion and understanding of Inuit society.

Funding for this initiative was made through the Innovation Enhancement Program (IEP), which through Budget 2009: Building on Our Strong Foundation allocates close to $2 million to develop and expand strategic industry clusters and public/private research projects involved in the development of new technologies. Administered by the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, the IEP provides non-repayable contributions up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000 per project.

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Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
709-729-1674, 728-7762

2010 01 13                                         10:15 a.m.

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