4.2 Funding for Aboriginal language activities in the NWT

Most funding for Aboriginal language work comes through the GNWT. In 2001–2002, through the Canada–NWT Cooperation Agreement for French and Aboriginal Languages in the NWT, the federal government provided approximately $2.3 million for Aboriginal languages, which the GNWT administered. About 50% of federal money funds Aboriginal language community initiatives. The remainder goes to teaching and learning centres, language instructor training, Aboriginal broadcasting, language research and language promotion.

In addition, the GNWT provides funding for Aboriginal language work, much of which supports school programming. In 2001–2002, the GNWT allocated about $7.1 million for Aboriginal language programs. It also funds the office of the Languages Commissioner25. The Assembly of First Nations administers funding from the federal government for Aboriginal languages, some of which is available through the Dene Nation. Other funding for language programming is available through programs like the Aboriginal Head Start program.

There are many different sources of funding, and it is not always clear to people how they can access funding for their projects.

It's been difficult to get money, confusing as to who has the money and who can get it. My suggestion was to distribute a list of all funding programs—it would be nice to see it under one committee—put all the money together and all the people sit on this committee.

Betty Vitrekwa26

4.3 GNWT initiatives

Over the years, the GNWT has introduced a number of initiatives to support Aboriginal languages. We highlight some that have had a significant impact on language and literacy work, as well as strategies that they are currently implementing.


25 Information on funding from Special Committee on the Review of the Official Languages Act. Progress Report on the Review of the Official Languages Act. Yellowknife: Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, June 2002.
26 In Special Committee on the Review of the Official Languages Act. Progress Report on the Review of the Official Languages Act. Yellowknife: Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, June 2002.