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FCL, local Co-ops donate to U of R Press to support Indigenous language education

September 7, 2023

University of Regina Press has received a $125,000 gift from Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) and Co-ops across Western Canada to create textbooks and audio resources supporting the development of post-secondary Dakota and Dene language courses.

The University of Regina Press’s outstanding track record in publishing works that support Indigenous language study includes its First Nations Language Reader series, and scholarly textbooks supporting the study of Cree, Nakoda and Saulteaux languages.

“Producing these language resources is one of the U of R Press’s core missions,” says Marcel DeCoste, the University of Regina Press’s Director of Publications. “This support from Co-op is very welcome. It’s such a valuable legacy, and will provide resources that will allow us to continue this very important work.”

There is a growing need for learning materials to support and sustain Indigenous language study – both at the post-secondary level as well as for general audiences interested in learning the languages original to Treaty 4 and Treaty 6.

"Dakota and Dene are each endangered languages to varying extents," says Dr. Arok Wolvengrey, University of Regina Press’s First Nations Language Reader series editor, and Professor, Algonquian Languages and Linguistics at First Nations University of Canada. “Having these resources allows our teachers to better instruct their students and inspire new speakers.”

Co-op’s gift will be received by U of R Press in installments of $25,000 over five years, and is an expression of the organization’s commitment to taking very real and meaningful steps in expanding their ongoing Indigenous engagement efforts.

“We are striving to be leaders in the journey towards reconciliation,” says Heather Ryan, FCL, CEO. “We are proud to be a partner in this important initiative and to support both the preservation and growth of Indigenous languages and culture.”