The importance of language to Indigenous culture is undeniable. Language is culture. But over generations, through the residential school system and with so many Indigenous people living in urban settings, away or disconnected from their ancestral land and communities, few are able to learn their traditional language.
Native Montréal is making efforts to change that. Last September the centre started offering free Innu, Cree and Mohawk language courses. There was such a high demand for those classes that the centre will be offering them again this September with a few added languages: Algonquin and Abenakis.
Bérenice Mollen, a project leader at Native Montréal, said these classes are a result of requests from Native Montréal’s members.
They live in the biggest city in Quebec, she added, and there are a lot of Native people who want to connect to their language by learning how to speak it. This is particularly important to youth who are raised in Montreal, who haven’t had the chance to learn their language growing up.
The classes are open to pretty much everyone, but priority is given to Native Montréal members, their families, and to non-Indigenous people who have some connection to the centre or to the Indigenous community in Montreal.
To find out more about the classes and how to register, visit www.nativemontreal.com.
Image source: Native Montréal