ARCHIVED - Government of Canada invests in the Aanischaaukamikw Cultural Institute in Oujé-Bougoumou

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Oujé-Bougoumou, Quebec, November 9, 2009 − The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced funding of $3.2 million from the Government of Canada for the Aanischaaukamikw Cultural Institute.

As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Department of Canadian Heritage will invest $1.8 million while Canada Economic Development will invest $900,000 to support the construction of the Institute. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will contribute $500,000.

Funding from Canadian Heritage has been provided through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (formerly Cultural Spaces Canada). This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts and to museum collections and heritage displays.

“Canadian Heritage is a firm believer that our culture and heritage represent one of our country’s greatest treasures. This is why we are pleased to support a project that will allow nine James Bay Cree communities to develop the necessary infrastructure to preserve and share their rich heritage,” said Minister Moore. “Thanks to exhibition halls, a resource and documentation centre, and spaces for archiving, storing, and preserving the museological and archaeological assets of the Aanischaaukamikw Cultural Institute, Canadians and visitors from around the world will have the pleasure of discovering the Cree Nations.”

Canada Economic Development is providing funding under the Community Adjustment Fund, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. This fund is intended to stimulate the economy by creating and maintaining jobs.

“Canada Economic Development is proud to support the AanischaaukamikwCultural Institute project, for more than one reason. For one thing, the construction of this historical museum will create many jobs: 115 workers will be hired to carry out the work and 40 people could be hired full-time upon its completion. In this time of economic downturn, this is great news for the Cree community of Oujé-Bougoumou. In addition, the presence of an Aboriginal museum in Northern Quebec will attract visitors to this region, where tourism is a significant part of the economy,” said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Canada Economic Development).

The contribution from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will also help support this project of the Aanischaaukamikw Cultural Institute.

“The Department is pleased to work in partnership to provide funding for this important community infrastructure project,” said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. “In addition to offering economic possibilities, the Cultural Institute will serve as an exceptional site allowing the Cree of Oujé-Bougoumou to present, share, and pass on the treasures of Cree culture.”

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Deirdra McCracken
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Tel.: 819-997-7788

Simon Bachand
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Canada Economic Development
Tel.: 613-996-6236

Michelle Yao
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Tel.: 819-997-0002

Éric Amyot
Director, Regional Communications
Quebec Region
Canadian Heritage
Tel.: 514-283-4027
E-mail: eric.amyot@phc.gc.caà

Jean-François Lauzon
Canada Economic Development
Tel.: 514-283-0306

Media Relations
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Tel.: 819-953-1160