Certain British Columbian First Nations groups are receiving early Christmas gift this year.

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore announced a three-year renewal of the Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI), Monday. He also instated a new formula for First Nations languages that distribute funding depending on how many aboriginal languages exist in each province.

The new formula involves First Nations organizations that are active in language initiatives in provinces and territories. According to Moore, areas with more languages will be given more funding than areas with less language diversity.

Moore says that language is extremely important for maintaining and passing on a group’s cultural identity. He adds that with the renewal of the Aboriginal Language Initiative, the government is ensuring that support for different groups’ revitalization continues.

The Government of Canada has provided a total of $334,569 in funding for such projects through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative. The funding has been received through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Program.

The Specific goal of ALI is to help preserve and promote Aboriginal languages into the future.

Some First Nations organizations around northeastern B.C. benefiting from this funding include the Saulteau First Nations & Muskoti Learning center in Chetwynd, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association in Fort St. John and the West Moberly First Nations in Moberly Lake. Each of these organizations has received $15,000.

The new formula comes into effect on Apr.1.