“Our Children, Our Language” is an event put on by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council to teach youth about Aboriginal languages.
The two-day gathering got underway this morning at the Flying Dust First Nation with nine surrounding First Nations taking part.
Organizers are hoping the 90 youth attending will learn that these languages are a big part of their history.
“It is really important to get the languages into the minds of youth because it is who they are and it’s where they are going to get that sense of pride and belonging,” said Pat Gervais, the MLTC’s Community Schools Coordinator. “The language will make them very unique in the world. There are not a whole lot of places where you will hear the Cree or Dene languages, and the gift that we were given was the language and culture.”
The “Our Children, Our Languages” event is in its fifth year.
This year will feature Cree and Dene performers, as well as the language teachers from the surrounding First Nations.
Gervais says in addition to the children, a male and female elder from each community was invited to attend.
“What we are hoping is that we are going to create dialogue, so the students are comfortable with approaching different elders and asking them questions about the languages and their home communities and learn something about their history. It is just a good way to connect our young people and our elders.”
February is Aboriginal Storytelling Month.