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Children learn Mi’kmaq language at Esgenoôpetitj’s first immersion camp – New Brunswick

Ten youngsters from Esgenoôpetitj First Nation spent the week studying Mi’kmaq as a part of the neighborhood’s first immersion summer time camp.

Twelve-year-old Eldon Taylor is already hoping there might be one other camp subsequent summer time.

“I realized lots of issues, like my language, my unique tongue, I realized about my tradition, I realized so many issues,” he mentioned on Friday.

He mentioned his mom may be very completely happy when he tells her “Kesalul,” which interprets to “I really like you.”

“She’s actually ecstatic once I say that as a result of I by no means used to speak to her in Mi’kmaq,” he mentioned.

Siblings Xander and Samoqon Perley loved making drums and rattles from moose cover through the camp as studying new phrases.

“My favorite phrase is kitpu, it means eagle,” Ten-year-old Xander mentioned.

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Lead trainer Karen Somerville mentioned the youngsters’s pleasure over studying the language introduced her lots of pleasure.

“I see it, they usually’re so keen! They’re so proud that they really did one thing that comes from historical past and their ancestor had practiced the identical factor,” she mentioned.

“As quickly as a toddler begins listening to it, they begin responding to it naturally and it’s such a phenomenal factor to see. Seeing our kids communicate it, they’re shy, the sound generally might be arduous sounds however they can transfer it into their vocabulary and use the language correctly, so yeah I’m more than happy.”

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Undertaking coordinator Candida Nickerson mentioned the objective was to show the youngsters the language whereas partaking in conventional actions like drum-making and kayaking.

“Our language is a extremely descriptive language, in order we’ve been creating our drums, our rattles, our actions, (Somerville’s) been explaining to them what it means and the definition of the phrase and the phrase to hopefully assist them keep in mind. As a result of it’s the motion that they’re gonna affiliate with the phrase.”

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She mentioned that whereas a lot of the youngsters had some earlier publicity to the language both by way of their mother and father, or by way of their training on the Esgenoôpetitj college, this was a uncommon event to be immersed in it and work together with different audio system.

Whereas Nickerson’s mother and father spoke Mi’kmaq, she primarily grew up talking English. She mentioned educating the language helps her study on the identical time.

“The language is inside me. It’s inside my DNA. It’s part of who I’m, I used to be born with it. It’s simply sleeping. So what I’m doing proper now’s I’m waking it up. So I’m waking it by way of this revitalization committee, by way of these camps and I hope to encourage this with all our kids, we have to wake it up.”

She is hoping to safe funding to make this an annual occasion. Whereas she is hopeful it would work out, younger Eldon Taylor is able to step in if wanted.

“If there isn’t any funding then I wish to begin a GoFundMe and hold this going,” he mentioned.


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