NWT Literacy Council L a n g u a g e s    o f    t h e    L a n d header graphic
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Aboriginal Head Start Initiative
This program is an early intervention program for pre-school Aboriginal children in larger northern communities. Because it has a strong cultural component, many groups in the north who have accessed this program provide language and culture instruction as a component of the curriculum.

The NWT contact for this program is Brenda Cantin with Health Canada in Edmonton at (780) 495-5113.

Private Foundations
There are a number of corporate and private foundations that provide funding for charitable causes, including cultural and language activities. The best source of information regarding fundraising within the corporate and foundation sectors is The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. The Centre has excellent resource materials that list grant agencies, provide information on how to approach grant agencies, and provide information on proposal writing. The Centre can be reached on the Internet at: www.ccp.ca

or can be contacted at:

The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy
425 University Avenue, 7th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1T6
Phone (416) 597-2293


Elders and Fluent Speakers
The single most important resource to all communities is the elders and fluent speakers of the language. If language retention and revival is dependent on inter-generational mother-tongue transmission of the language, then the fluent speakers of the language are absolutely essential. If the most important reason for maintaining Aboriginal languages is to maintain the historical connection to the land, then the elders have a crucial role to play in all language activities.

For any language retention or revival activity to succeed, elders and fluent speakers must be involved as resource people. They must also be:

  • encouraged to speak the language as often as possible to as many people as possible;
  • cautioned about laughing or criticizing others for poor pronunciation or language use;
  • acknowledged within the community for the special skill they have; and
  • given the training they need to expand their role as language teachers and mentors.

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