Indigenous language camp underway in Sudbury
Immersion camp runs 2 weeks
Summer camps are in full swing across northern Ontario and in Sudbury, a group of adults is taking part in a camp where no English is allowed to be spoken.
The Eshki-nishnaabemjig immersion course teaches Anishinaabemowin or the Ojibwe language.
The two-week camp is organized by a grassroots group of language speakers and learners and is taking place at Laurentian University.
One of the facilitators, Jessica Shonias, says the complete immersion will push the adults from using just a few words to having a complete conversation.
"Everything we do is in the language," she said.
"We do all kinds of activities and it really forces you to grab for what you know, so you have a little bit of prior learning, but here is where you can really test it out."
Shonias says the educators give up their own free-time every summer to run the camp, adding they're seeking permanent funding to expand what the camp can offer in the future.
For this camp, she says participants have been taking classes and doing activities while learning how to speak fluently. An activity last week included picking blueberries and then making pies — all in the Ojibwe language.
"It's really hard," she said.
"It's very taxing on your brain to be constantly on overdrive. But the people that we get here are really, really dedicated. It's tough, but they really want to be here."
With files from Waubgeshig Rice