Parents and volunteers say they fear the Saskatchewan government’s decision to cut all funding for heritage language learning will mean the loss of culture.
The province has said after 25 years, it’s discontinuing the annual $225,000 that heritage language schools get in the budget.
Tamara Ruzic, executive director of the Saskatchewan Organization for Heritage Languages, says the money means everything to more than 70 non-profit educational groups.
The schools help about 4,000 students retain their native language through classes taught by volunteer teachers on evenings and weekends.
Education Minister Don Morgan says the decision was not taken lightly, but the government needs to focus on core programming as it deals with a spending deficit.
Morgan says there are language classes included in the regular curriculum that children can take, including Ukrainian, German, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Cree.
(With files from The Canadian Press)