First Nations languages need protection: prof.

Sep 3, 2010 Read more: www.cbc.ca

First Nations languages are on the verge of extinction unless future governments help children learn their traditional languages, says an expert.

Andrea Bear Nicholas, the chair of native studies at St. Thomas University in Fredricton, writes in an analysis for CBC News that the next New Brunswick government must help First Nations children learn their native languages.

Bear Nicholas said she'd like the provincial government to introduce a program called mother-tongue medium (MTM) education, which has been used in other parts of the world so indignenous languages are not lost forever.

The First Nations language expert said this change would bring the provincial government into compliance with international linguistic rights standards, "which are routinely violated in Canada where First Nations children are concerned."

She said the system of language education has been used in Canada to help the Mohawks, the Cree, and the Secwepemc. It has also been implemented in Norway, Hawaii, Nepal, and Papua New Guinea.

Bear Nicholas points out that Acadian children in New Brunswick have been instructed in their mother tongue and it has helped them hold onto their culture.

New Brunswick has a dual education system that allows anglophones to be instructed in English and francophones to be taught in French.

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Useta

Kanata, Canada

#1 Sep 5, 2010
With the provincial election less than a month away, now is the time for Natives and their supporters to go after the candidates for promises to fix this shameful situation.

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