Elders and Youth get closer at Mi’gmaq Language Summer Workshop

Although I enjoyed everything at the workshop, the part that I enjoyed the most was the discussions. I loved hearing what the elders in my group had to say. I always assumed that if the elders didn’t think Mi’gmaq was not important enough for their children to know and speak, then it wasn’t important enough to bother learning. My grandparents gave my father the language but he didn’t give it to me and because this is the case for majority of the people in my generation it’s easy to see how our precious language could be lost in just one generation. I realized after hearing what the elders had to say in our discussion group was that they regret not passing on the language and are genuinely afraid that the language will someday soon be lost. They also thought that the youth are not interested in learning Mi’gmaq which I can imagine discouraged them a bit. I don’t think I would have ever known how the elders felt towards the language had I not attended this workshop and they would not have known how us youth felt. The assumptions that we had about each other were wrong. They do value and care about the language and so do we. We are interested in learning Mi’gmaq and they’re so happy to see that we are taking the initiative. We want to learn our language and they’re willing to meet us halfway if they see that we are trying. I feel more comfortable and more at ease speaking Mi’gmaq to them knowing that they want us to learn. It was nice to clear up the misunderstandings and bring the gap between the generations a little closer.