Immerse yourself in the language

At the end of July, a small group of volunteers stepped forward and committed themselves to teach and learn Mi’gmaq through this method. It’s called the Master Apprentice Program. Although not yet formally implemented yet here in Listuguj,
they’re getting the feel for what it’s like. I’m sure at some point they’d love to see this grow into a full blown program. We’ll be meeting with the small group of volunteers this Friday to get some feedback.

Hear what participants from British Columbia had to say about their Master Apprentice experience after committing over 300 hours over three years, only speaking their First Nations language.

The value of revitalizing a language

This morning, I came across a few quotes that really spoke to me.

“Language is the expression of our culture and our land. We cannot have one without the other”

This summer, I have the privilege of working alongside language instructors and linguists. When I heard of the efforts being made to document and develop tools to help revitalized our language, I offered my services to help out in any way I can to bring recognition of language and its importance to the greater community. When I first started, I wanted to quickly introduce the various programs and services that Listuguj currently has to offer, but the question always remained.. “Why” should people learn? What will it do for our people and our community if we had the entire community speaking Mi’gmaq? Would love to get this discussion going in the community. I believe that creating a powerful “why” will help inspire and motivate ourselves to help revitalize and to keep our languages alive. What’s your “why”? :) Hope everyone has a great day!

A few quotes on the importance of keeping our Indigenous languages alive

Language is our soul.
(Aunty Rose Fernando, Gamilaroi Elder, 1998)

Language is the expression of our culture and our land. We cannot have one without the others. We cannot describe our culture and our land if we do not have language.
(Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee, 2006 )

Recognition of Indigenous languages and support for Indigenous language programs stand alongside land rights, health, justice, education, housing, employment and other services as part of the overall process of pursuing social justice and reconciliation in Australia.

One might go so far as to say that without recognition of the Indigenous people and their languages, many other programs will be less effective, because this lack of recognition will show that the underlying attitudes of the dominant society have not changed significantly.
(Dr. Graham McKay. Edith Cowan University. The Land Still Speaks. 1996.)