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CBC: ‘Magical’ Michif: First kitchen party connects keen learners with Métis language

December 2, 2019 — 

As CBC Manitoba reports:

A group of unconventional students huddled around makeshift kitchen tables at the University of Manitoba’s Indigenous learning centre on Saturday for a lesson in Michif.

Dozens of participants, both young and old, gathered at the Michif kitchen party held at Migizii Agamik on Saturday evening to connect with the traditional Métis language, which is only fluently spoken by about five to 10 per cent of Métis people across the country.

Laura Forsythe, the Métis inclusion coordinator at the University of Manitoba, is bringing people together to keep the mixture of Cree and French words alive.

“The flame has just started now to actually rebuild and reclaim our language as a whole, as a nation,” she said.

Michif is spoken by communities living across Métis homelands, not limited to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“They understand that it’s a value and it’s unique to our culture and it’s important,” Forsythe said.

Twenty-eight university students are currently enrolled in the school’s Michif language program, including individuals from Russian, Polish and Filipino backgrounds, Forsythe said. The university has been hosting monthly workshops where they invite elders to teach attendees how to introduce themselves and how to discuss the weather and their families, but it didn’t have a space for everyone to get together and practice their speech.

So Forsythe decided to switch things up — and throw a kitchen party.

Read the full story here.

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