Halifax police investigating 103 road rage incident
OPINION: We need to learn from the men who rape
Chrystia Freeland tours Pictou County Michelin factory
We’koqma’q residents, supporters block causeway seeking answers in ...
Berwick man facing animal cruelty charges after N.S. SPCA seizes nine ...
THE LIST: Best local homemade food, drinks
VIDEO: Premature baby, born at 23 weeks, home in P.E.I. after months ...
Ottawa’s legal bill nearly $12 million for warship work
Postal code education: Exploring the achievement gap
The idea is that by ensuring exposure to the Mi’kmaw language at a young age, it will be easier for children to learn it as they grow older.
“We are hopeful that by providing more language exposure to our youngest children, it will water the roots that our children have to their language and encourage them to grow as Mi’kmaw speakers,” Wagmatcook First Nation Chief Norman Bernard told a small crowd gathered in his community’s cultural centre on Monday.
They were all there for the announcement of a new training program for early childhood educators.
Funded by $338,000 from the provincial and federal governments, the program will see the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey team up with the Nova Scotia Community College to create a new diploma program from those teaching at daycares and pre-primary programs.
The accelerated workplace training program will teach early childhood educators in daycares and pre-primary programs to incorporate Mi’kmaw culture and language into the curriculum.
“They aren’t just babysitting,” said Ann Sylliboy, post-secondary co-ordinator for the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey.
“They teach through play and exposure to culture. This is part of being strategic about how we bring the language back.”
There are only a few thousand speakers of Mi’kmaw left. It is one of three surviving languages from the fourteen that once composed the eastern Algonquin language group.
There is a fierce campaign by its speakers and by the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey to save it.
There’s an immersion program in Eskasoni, a community of about 3,000 residents that has the greatest number of fluent speakers. And in other Mi’kmaw schools around the province there are available language courses.
While it’s being taught in schools, Sylliboy says that to survive a language needs to spoken in daily life.
It still is by some members of the older generation, it’s the young that this and most efforts are geared to.
“If we lose our language, we can’t go somewhere else in the world and learn it again,” said Bernard.
“It’s here and the hope is that in a few more years we will see a difference and it coming back.”