The Multilingual Association of Regina (MLAR), the first multilingual association in Canada, is a non-profit coordinating agency established in 1978 with a volunteer board of directors. Since its inception, the organization has grown from three language schools with 200 students to more than twenty schools with 1,100 students and eighty-two volunteer teachers. MLAR has been working with teachers, students, parents, volunteers, school boards, and cultural organizations to promote the teaching of heritage languages in Regina and surrounding areas. It supports heritage language schools by offering facilities, providing in-service training for teachers, and promoting the benefits of learning heritage languages through workshops and seminars. MLAR organizes and prepares resource material and teaching aids for its teachers, conducts public speaking and writing contests, publishes a quarterly newsletter, commissions surveys and studies to determine the needs of groups teaching heritage languages, and hosts an annual open house to celebrate cultural diversity and foster social cohesion, mutual respect, and a shared sense of Canadian identity.
In 1992, MLAR worked with the University of Regina to have a Certificate Program for heritage language teachers established through the university to provide more in-depth training. MLAR provided resources to establish the Saskatchewan Organization for Heritage Languages (SOHL), a provincial organization which now provides leadership and funding to heritage language schools across the province. In 2003, MLAR produced a video entitled “ Heritage Languages: A Link to the Past, our Bridge to the Future” to develop awareness of heritage language learning among the general public.