Professionals learn Cree at Wanuskewin to connect with community

Camp for adult learners Wanuskewin Heritage Park teaches Cree language and culture.

Participants learn about Cree world view and culture while studying language.

Belinda Daniels learned Cree as second language, and now teaches it to others. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

For over a decade, Belinda Daniels has been helping adults learn Cree at at her Nehiyaw Language Camp.

"They want to know what it means to be Cree, what is the world view, what is the connection with nature, with spirituality," said Daniels, who also teaches Cree at the University of Saskatchewan.

This is the third year Randy Gudmundson has attended the camp. (Josh Lynn/CBC)
 Most people who attend the camp are professionals who want to be able to communicate with people in Cree, she said.

Johanna Kaiser is one of the participants taking part in this year's edition of the camp, she lives and works in La Ronge.

"I've been there for a couple years now, there's lots of people there I can't speak to when I'm working or otherwise," she said. "So I think part of my responsibility while I'm living there is to learn Cree."

Johanna Kaiser wants to better communicate with Cree speakers she meets living and working in La Ronge. (Josh Lynn/CBC)
Another person working to pick up Cree at the camp is Randy Gudmundson, it's is third time attending. Gudmundson works at Indigenous Gaming Regulators as a licensing officer.

"I am working with a few people in the office that speak fluent Cree, so I'm getting a chance to practice with them on a daily basis," he said.

After 11 years, Daniels said she still gets excited about running the camp.

"If I could do this everyday I would," Daniels said. "I love working with people interested in coming into a Cree space, and learning about Cree world view, Cree philosophy, wanting to create partnerships and friendships."


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