Athabasca Delta Community School changes school divisions, emphasizes language learning, culture

A school in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta has taken new steps to protect the Cree and Dene languages and culture after switching to the Parkland School Division. The Athabasca Delta Community School has expanded its language classes to ensure that students up to grade 9 can study in both Cree and Dene and has launched cultural learning opportunities such as lessons on how to skin and butcher a moose taught in Cree, bringing in elders to tell stories, and encouraging the incorporation of language learning into non-language classes. “We’ve got to keep the tradition alive and ongoing,” said Roy Ladouceur, an elder who taught students about the moose. “I always speak out in Cree … We keep on reminding the young people not to lose … their language and who they are.”