Les langues

Note: I have been studying French since about July 2018. I am in my fifth course. This is the first time I studied/am studying French. I did not study French in elementary/high school because as an Indigenous person in my territory, I had the opportunity to learn my traditional language. This is my last class which ends in July 2019 and I would like to continue to learn what I have learned. I ask that you please be patient and kind with my learning here. To describe French learning as an adult, I sometimes feel like I am working three times as hard because for writing homework, I have to also write it in English first, then French and for oral homework, I have to write it English, then French and finally record the oral homework. Sometimes I do not know the French word for the English words describing my culture, like Elders in this post, which is why you see it in quotation marks (it is not meant to demean/undervalue Elders). I try my best to be respectful in my writing/understanding but an error may occur. I apologize in advance. I hope to write at least once a month in French/English. For these posts, I provide the English first, followed by the French. These will be significantly shorter than normal posts because of my limited knowledge of French. I am open to learning more and if you see room for improvement, you can contact me directly here or email me me@meetnaomi.com. And, yes, if you want to know, I would definitely love to learn my language but there are only certain courses/education systems that are valued which I could receive scholarship to study French. One day.


Les langues

A Canadian first for Indigenous people. It only took 152 years. I guess that's what you get when you're trying to "kill the Indian in the child."


I commend the federal court for taking these extra steps and honouring the language holders as valuable knowledge holders.


Well, what is it? You ask yourself?


The federal court issued a decision in Cree and Dene. You can listen to the oral recordings here.


This is important for communities like Fort McMurray, one of the parties. For many Elders, English is their second language; it's forced. Court decisions are usually published in French and / or English. Indigenous communities experience (experienced) assimilation / forced settlement, including the loss of languages / dialects.


I lived and worked in the Dene territory for a summer and heard others speak their traditional language; it was (is) beautiful. I learned a lot about life in the north, including the impact of natural resource extraction.


One day, I hope to learn my traditional language. I only know a little bit. And since I studied French for the first time in the past year, I feel guilty. This is what we mean by "Indigenous peoples must live in two worlds": one connected to our community and the other to the outside world. My internal struggle to learn French and my traditional language continues, because only some law firms / governments value French but not my traditional language.


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Une première canadienne pour les autochtones. Cela a seulement pris 152 ans. Je suppose que c'est ce que vous obtenez quand vous attentez « à tuer l'Indien au sein de l'enfant ».

 Je félicite la cour fédérale d'avoir pris ces mesures supplémentaires et d'avoir honoré les détenteurs de la langue en tant que précieux détenteurs du savoir.


Eh bien, qu'est-ce que c'est? Vous vous demandez? 


La cour fédérale a émis une décision en Cree et en Dene. Vous pouvez écouter les enregistrements oraux ici.


Ceci est important pour les communautés, comme Fort McMurray. Pour de nombreux « Elders », l'anglais est leur langue seconde; c'est forcé. Les décisions sont généralement publiées en français et / ou en anglais. De communautés autochtones éprouvent (ont éprouvé) d'assimilation / colonisation forcée, notamment par la perte de langues / dialectes.


J'ai vécu et travaillé dans le territoire des Dene pour un été et entendre les autres parler leur langue traditionnelle; c'était (c'est) beau. J'ai beaucoup appris sur la vie dans le Nord, notamment sur l'impact de l'extraction des ressources naturelles.


Un jour, j'espère apprendre ma langue traditionnelle. Je ne connais qu'un petit peu. Et comme j'ai étudié le français pour la première fois au cours de la dernière année, je me sens coupable. C’est ce que nous voulons dire par "les peuples autochtones doivent vivre dans deux mondes": l’un connecté à notre communauté et l’autre au monde extérieur. Ma lutte interne pour vouloir apprendre le français et ma langue traditionnelle se poursuit, car les cabinets d’avocats / les gouvernements accordent de la valeur au français mais pas à ma langue traditionnelle.

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Photo Credit: Jessica Blaine Smith