Horizon School Division supportive of new indigenous language courses

EAST CENTRAL — The provincial government has unveiled curriculum for three indigenous languages, one which is spoken by First Nations in the area. The Horizon School Division is looking at the curriculum with interest.

In April, the provincial government announced that courses in Dene, Michif and Nakawe would be available at 10, 20 and 30 levels starting this fall.

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Previously, education in these languages was only made available if the courses were locally developed by teachers or individual school divisions.

Nakawe, a dialect of Ojibwe, is spoken by the Saulteaux nations in the area. Michif is the traditional language of the Métis, while Dene is spoken in the north.

The decision to add new courses in the three languages is up to each school division.

Kevin Garinger, Horizon’s director of education, said since the curriculum is new, the division hasn’t had a lot of time to react to it.

“We're going to continue to look at how that might be incorporated in our reality.”

Garinger said there will be discussions with principals and school community councils to determine the need for the courses.

“We are certainly very much supportive of doing whatever we possibly can relative to language,” he said. “If there's a need or a willingness and the desire that way, we want to make sure that we implement it.”

There is also province-wide curriculum for courses in Cree, also spoken by First Nations in the region.

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