Library and Archives Canada funds projects to help preserve Indigenous culture and language recordings

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Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is providing $2.3 million to support 31 projects by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation organizations.

As part of the Government of Canada’s reconciliation efforts, LAC is supporting Indigenous communities as they seek to preserve and make accessible their existing audio and video heritage for future generations.

Through the Listen, Hear Our Voices initiative, LAC is providing contribution funding to help Indigenous organizations to digitize their existing culture and language recordings, and build the skills, knowledge and resources they need to carry out this work in their communities.

After a call for applications, which closed in summer 2019, an Indigenous review committee, external to LAC, and consisting of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation representatives from across Canada, reviewed applications and made the following recommendations for funding.

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“As we continue our work with Indigenous partners on the path toward reconciliation,” The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage said. “Initiatives such as this illustrate our government’s ongoing commitment to support Indigenous communities in preserving First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures and languages for future generations.”

To further this work and recognize the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation, LAC has created the Indigenous Heritage Action Plan. The action plan consists of 28 concrete actions that LAC will undertake over the next five years. 

“As an institution, we are inspired by the work that Indigenous organizations continue to do to preserve Indigenous cultures and languages,” Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada said.”I would like to thank all applicants and congratulate the recipients of the Listen, Hear Our Voices funding initiative. I look forward to seeing the progress on this very important work.”

The Listen, Hear Our Voices initiative also offers free digitization services to Indigenous organizations, individuals, collectors and creators to digitize their existing culture and language recordings.

Organizations receiving funding through the Listen, Hear Our Voices initiative

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1.     Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute

2.     Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)

3.     Atikamekw Sipi-Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw

4.     Avataq Cultural Institute

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5.     Carrier Sekani Tribal Council

6.     Chemawawin Cree Nation

7.     Council of Yukon First Nations, Yukon Native Language Centre

8.     First Nations University of Canada

9.     Gwich’in Tribal Council, Department of Cultural Heritage

10.  Indigenous Culture and Media Innovations

11.  Innu Nation

12.  Inuit Broadcasting Corporation

13.  James Bay Cree Communications Society

14.  Kitselas Land and Resources Department

15.  Legacy of Hope Foundation

16.  Lil̓wat7úl Culture Centre

17.  Louis Riel Institute

18.  Mamu Tshishkutamashutau – Innu Education

19.  Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC)

20.  Mohawk Language Custodian Association

21.  Nak’azdli Whut’en, Natural Resources

22.  Nunavut Independent Television Network (NITV)

23.  Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq / Kitikmeot Heritage Society

24.  Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle

25.  Saik’uz First Nation

26.  Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance

27.  Them Days Incorporated

28.  Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc

29.  Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in

30.  Tsilhqot’in National Government

31.  Walpole Island Heritage Centre

For a complete list including funding recipients, project titles and funding amounts, visit the Listen, Hear Our Voices (Contribution funding recipients 2019–2020) web page. Arthur C. Green/100.1 The Moose

“We thank Library and Archives Canada for this wonderful funding to further support our archival collection,” Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq of the Kitikmeot Heritage Society said. “We look forward to the work ahead.”

“We are excited about the project Listen, Hear Our Voices,” Mohawk Language Custodian Association said. “So we can preserve our ancestral voices.”

The Listen, Hear Our Voices initiative is part of the Indigenous Documentary Heritage Initiatives, which were developed in 2017 to increase access to Indigenous-related content in LAC’s collection and to support Indigenous communities in preserving First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation cultures and languages

“Funding from LAC is allowing the Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle to unite with the Turtle Mountain Community College and KEYA radio across the border in Turtle Mountain territory to set the stage for an archival project featuring 60 hours of recently rediscovered recordings of fluent Michif-speaking Elders from the 1980s and the 1990s.” Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle said. “With the express goal of making these recordings accessible to Michif people and the general public in a good way, in the future, the recordings will become an important new resource for oral history and language revitalization projects throughout our shared homelands.”

LAC is currently accepting proposals for the 2020–2021 funding cycle of the Documentary Heritage Communities Program. The deadline to submit applications is January 7, 2020.

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