Champlain pilots Kanien’kéha language classes for Indigenous student ambassadors

Champlain College Saint-Lambert recently launched a pilot project to offer Kanien’kéha language classes to students in the Indigenous Student Ambassadors (ISA) program. The idea was sparked after students said they would like to take part in language classes. Champlain alumni Iekenhnhenhawi Alexa Montour was hired to teach weekly classes to a group of current students and recently graduated ISA members. Classes take place in an off-campus space, which Champlain’s Indigenous Student Life Counsellor Jennifer Kanerahtorónkwas Paul explained helps to make students feel more comfortable and fosters camaraderie within the group. Paul said that most students in the class are not fluent speakers. “We’re all sponges, we’re trying to absorb as much as we can,” said Paul. “Our language is definitely in that pivotal stage where we want to keep it alive through revitalization.”