2nd N.W.T. mother demands traditional name for daughter
Like Shene Catholique Valpy, Andrea Heron had to change spelling to register birth
A second mother from the Northwest Territories says she had to change the spelling of her daughter's name after the vital statistics office wouldn't allow her to use a glottal stop, part of her traditional language.
Andrea Heron says six years ago, she had to use a hyphen in her daughter's name, Sakaeʔah, in order to register her birth.
Sakaeʔah means "when the sun rises, first peaks, a new day" in South Slavey.
Heron says she plans to support Catholique Valpy in the complaint process.
"I would absolutely love to see the changes implemented so the traditional names can be spelled properly and they don't have to be compromised," she said.
"I think it's a part of my daughter's cultural identity and who she is as a person and I think having to compromise that takes away from that for her."
Heron says Dene languages are dying and need to be preserved.
"I found it frustrating that they had the resources to support the French culture and the French [language] but they didn't have the resources to support the Dene [languages] which they acknowledge as an official language of the N.W.T."