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  • My name is Charlotte Lafford and I live in Paq'tnkek First Nation. The Mi'kmaq language, we're losing it here in Paq'tnkek. Mostly the elders can speak, but every year we're losing elders. So it's kind of going the way of the dinosaurs. So what we're trying to do is bring it back into the schools and have young people learn it over again.

    In our schools, they start teaching the Mi'kmaq language in Grade 4, so the kids can learn like, you know, there's a couple of words that all people in the community know, like 'sit down' is 'Pa'si', 'Aji'mij'se" is 'come eat' and 'Juku'wey' is 'come here'. There are basic words that everybody know.

    So they go to daycare or pre-school and they expand upon their vocabulary because they learn more and more words there. And then there's a period from Grade 1 to Grade 4 where there's nothing, absolutely nothing. So whatever they learned in pre-school or daycare, they lose.

    I find my daughters have learned a lot more Mi'kmaq from taking these courses. And my oldest daughter is in Grade 6. She's been through every single workshop. So she excels in her Mi'kmaq language.
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