Because of my Grandfather

by Alivia
(Canada)

The language I would like to learn is Saulteaux, and I would love to learn Saulteaux because it's a part of my heritage. My grandpa could speak it fluently and just listening to him, I was amazed....but he was too proud to teach it, he always said things like 'no one speaks it anymore anyways' and he had no patience in teaching... and now that I really care to learn it, he has passed away.



What a great reason
Alivia, thanks for your contribution. I love your tender tribute to your grandfather. I too have felt those types of feelings for my ancestors. I love how you describe the feelings that you had listening to your grandfather speak.

Your desire to preserve the traditions and dignity of the Native American cultures of Canada is important. Do your parents speak or understand the language? Do you live in a community where other people speak Saulteaux? Do the Saulteaux typically live on Reservations? or are they integrated into the general population. If they live on Reservations, you certainly could find native speakers there. If not, you might want to search for older people who often have extra time on their hands and would be willing to teach you this language. Are there retirement homes in your town or nursing homes where old people live? This may be one place to find a native speaker to be your mentor. Working as a volunteer in such a place would help you find native speakers, and would be a valuable service to those living in the nursing home.

I noticed while doing a web search that the University of Regina in Saskatchewan offers a Saulteaux language major. You could contact some of the instructors and ask them to point you toward resources to help you in your goal. If all else fails, you could enroll in the university and take courses there.

I'd encourage you, in addition to learning the language, to learn about the culture and traditions of the native peoples of Canada. As you do so, your life will be enriched. Be sure to keep a journal and document the traditions that you learn. This will become a priceless possession for your children and grandchildren. They will not need to be in the same position as you: wishing to have learned more.

I wish you the very best of luck in fulfilling your passion. It is wonderful that you have a desire to preserve the traditions of your fore bearers. Please come back often to let me know how of your progress. Use the comment feature below to add additional information.

Leslie

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Nov 29, 2011
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Lovely comment
by: Walt Hollander

Having taught some considerable time ago on 2 remote reservations in both northern Ontario and in Manitoba, I know that at that time native language was taught and I hope it continues to this day so that the culture and valuable traditions and languages are not lost.

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