WENDAKE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2011) - The Société de communication Atikamekw–Montagnais (SOCAM) will receive funding from the Government of Canada. The announcement was made by the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister for La Francophonie, and Member of Parliament (Louis-Saint-Laurent), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The funding will enable SOCAM to create four animated children's videos telling the adventures of Tshakapesh, a mythical character well-known in Atikamekw-Montagnais communities. The educational videos will be produced in Atikamekw and Innu, and will be used as platforms to introduce viewers to vocabulary used in science and technology. The communities will have access to the videos through the SOCAM website, and DVD copies will be distributed to the different elementary schools in Atikamekw and Innu communities.

"The vitality of Aboriginal languages is closely associated with language initiatives that specifically meet the needs of Aboriginal people," said Minister Moore. "By supporting such projects, the Government of Canada is reaffirming its commitment to preserving and revitalizing Aboriginal languages and cultures."

"These animated videos are an innovative tool for passing on the Atikamekw and Innu languages to children in Quebec Aboriginal communities," added Minister Verner. "Through its funding, the Government of Canada is supporting SOCAM's efforts to preserve these two languages for the long term."

"We are happy that we can follow up on the adventures of Tshakapesh. The first series of educational videos was received quite enthusiastically, and we will try to ensure that the second is even more successful," explained Bernard Hervieux, Executive Director of SOCAM. "This project allows us not only to promote our language, but also to demonstrate that our language, like our culture, can be adapted to today's world."

The Government of Canada has provided $49,610 to SOCAM. This is in addition to the $49,299 in funding that the organization received earlier in 2009–2010 for its initial production of animated videos. The support has been provided under the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, which is part of the Aboriginal Peoples' Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. The objective of the Initiative is to preserve and revitalize Aboriginal languages for the benefit of future generations of Aboriginal people and other Canadians.

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)

Contact Information: Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages
Codie Taylor - Press Secretary
Canadian Heritage
Media Relations