Group wants more Mi'kmaq language courses in schools
Grade 8 pilot project hopes to bring Mi'kmaq language classes to schools across province
An aboriginal advocacy group wants Mi'kmaq language courses offered at schools across P.E.I.
Right now, a few schools offer courses but the Mi'kmaq Confederacy wants to see it expand.
Doris Googoo grew up speaking Mi'kmaq with her family in Nova Scotia, now she's a teacher helping P.E.I. students learn the language.
Her Grade 8 class at Hernewood Intermediate School in O'Leary P.E.I. is part of a pilot project to bring Mi'kmaq to junior high. Students practise the language and learn Mi'kmaq culture and history.
"It's a unique language and it's really nice to get our children and students involved in the language and in the culture,” she said.
Right now, the class is only offered to First Nations students but the Mi'kmaq confederacy would like to see that change.
“The goal of those developing the program has always been that it becomes an open course, available to all students Mi'kmaq and non-aboriginal, similar to a core French program,” said Allan Gillis of the Mi'kmaq Confederacy.”
The confederacy says it's a dying language and courses like this are essential.
"I really want to get back into the language because there's a lot of people that are not into it as much as they should be,” said student Mackenzie Thomas. “There are a lot of young Mi'kmaq students that think it's just a waste of time, but it's not.”
The confederacy said if expanded, it could also help many have a better understanding of the culture.
The province said the program will continue as is.
The confederacy said it will keep pressing the province to bring it to all schools.