When Gyasi Ross left the reserve for the city he left behind his traditional Blackfeet language.

It wasn’t until he started working on songs with his powwow-singing cousin that he started to learn how to speak Blackfeet again.

Ross was the keynote speaker at the annual Language Keepers Conference in Saskatoon on Wednesday.

After his speech, people gathered around the charismatic storyteller, requesting autographs and thanking him for his message.

“We need each other for languages we have to work together,” Ross said following his speech. “People who speak our languages have a super power and that super power has to be communicated to those` of us that don’t, who have been disconnected from our culture. It has to be for the survival of our communities and our languages.”


The conference continues on Thursday with keynote speaker Zoe Hopkins, a fluent Mohawk language speaker.