Students learn Indigenous languages through camps, shows, programs

Students have more opportunities to learn Indigenous languages through experiences such as puppet shows, camps, and dedicated educational funding for interpreters and translators. Language program developer Trevor Gould is teaching children the Mi’kmaw language with a fox puppet named Wowkwis. The program is hosted by Mermaid Theatre’s Animalingo and includes 10 episodes in which Gould and the puppet share Mi’kmaw culture, traditions, and language. In Esgenoôpetitj, children attended an immersive language camp where they learned to make moose skin drums while learning Mi’kmaw. “Seeing the children’s eyes when I tell them how one word can mean an entire sentence is my favourite part,” said language instructor Karen Somerville. The Government of the Northwest Territories has also recently announced new funding that will support Indigenous language interpreters and translators who are pursuing further education. Students can receive funding to cover tuition, fees, books, and materials for terminology workshops, tech training, and professional development.

CBC (Mermaid Theatre) | CBC (Esgenoôpetitj) | NWT