30 First Nation Participants Enrolled in Language Nest Event Next Week in Carmacks

    A view of Carmacks (Photo courtesy of Yukon Communities)

    Yukon Native Language Centre Director Tina Jules say a three-day language nest event will be occurring next week for approximately 30 Yukon First Nation participants in Carmacks.

    Yukon Native Language Centre Director Tina Jules say a three-day language nest event will be occurring next week for approximately 30 Yukon First Nation participants in Carmacks.

    Jules says the event, which will be run collaboratively with the First  People's Cultural Council in British Columbia  and the Little/Salmon Carmacks First Nation from Wednesday thru Friday next week, helps participants teach their First Nations language to children outside of classroom hours.  

    "You basically take care of the children and the babies using your traditional language in a natural way. You try and keep the classes as unstructured as possible...it could be grandma's or child care workers teaching their traditional language. It's been successful in reviving the Maori language in New Zealand and the Hawaiians followed suit. They we're able to get children to be fluent in their language before they entered kindergarten." 

    Jules says the language nest program also has more language benefits than just for the children in the program

    "When the children go home, it also helps restore the language in the home. That includes with the grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. This particular training is an introduction to learning about what is a language nest, what is an immersion environment when you're working with little children, how do you set it up, and what does it look like."

    Jules says there will be a variety of First Nation teachers and learners at the event next week.

    "The program is delivered in English and then each of the community language groups work together.  We have mostly Northern Tutchone participants, we have some Southern Tutchone, Kaska and Tlingit learners as well."

    After participants finish the course, participants will receive a Yukon Native Language Centre level one certification before they go go back to their own community to help with the revitalization of their own First Nation language.

    While this language nest event is full, the Yukon Native Language Centre is planning to host another similar event later on in the year.

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