Cree School Board implements Cree Language Mentorship Initiative, supports language teachers 

The Cree School Board has responded to the “worrisome” results of an ongoing evaluation of Cree language skills in northern Québec by implementing the Cree Language Mentorship Initiative. Through the language initiative, the board has hired 20 Cree language experts to work with Cree language teachers to create lessons, plans, resources, and strategies to help students learn the Cree language. The school board’s goal is to expand the program in the future so that teachers of all levels can work with a mentor. Cree School Board chairperson Sarah Pash noted other ongoing efforts to address language loss, including the creation of a bank of Cree language resources, elders’ circles that schools can draw upon, and hiring culture and language animators for each school. “I know we have teachers that teach it, but they need our support,” said language expert Mary Bear. “We have to pass that knowledge down that was passed to us from our parents to our children and grandchildren.”