News release

Preserving Gaelic Language Focus of New Program

Nova Scotians interested in strengthening Gaelic language and culture can now take a mentoring program through the Office of Gaelic Affairs.

The Bun is Bàrr, or Root and Branch, master-apprentice program is accepting applications until April 12.

The program is modeled on a successful California initiative and will provide learners with a chance to participate in immersion activities with a Gaelic elder. The California program has successfully trained 65 teams in Native American languages since 1999.

Leanne Hinton, a retired linguistics professor at the University of California at Berkeley and creator of the original program, will be in Nova Scotia in May to train teams who will participate in the program. She will lead workshops with Gaelic language instructors and also deliver public talks.

"This is an innovative and community-based method of passing on Gaelic language and culture in Nova Scotia," said program co-ordinator Frances MacEachen. "Not only will participants learn Gaelic language, they will create bridges between the generations and between cultural communities. We are building on the strengths of our elders and our culture and heritage."

Elders participating as masters will be paid $3,000 through the program and must complete 360 hours of immersion work with an apprentice over a 12 month period.

Public information sessions on the program will be hosted by the Office of Gaelic Affairs in the following communities:

  • March 21, 7 p.m., Room 215, Citadel High School, 1855 Trolloppe St., Halifax
  • March 24, 6:30 p.m., Scotsville School of Crafts, 2234 Scotsville Road, Scotsville
  • March 27, 2 p.m., Volunteer Fire Hall, 8539 Grand Narrows Highway, Christmas Island
  • March 31, 7 p.m., Art Room, St. Andrew's Junior High School, 2 Appleseed Dr., Antigonish
  • April 1, 6:30 p.m., Dobson Yacht Club, 600 Westmount Rd., Syndey

The Office of Gaelic Affairs helps Nova Scotians learn and use Gaelic language so the culture, wisdom, heritage and traditions of Gaels are valued, practiced and passed on to future generations.

More information and applications for the Bun is Bàrr master-apprentice program are available at .


The Office of Gaelic Affairs is offering a new apprentice program that will match learners with community elders to learn the Gaelic language.

The program is adapted from one created by Leanne Hinton from the University of California at Berkeley. Ms. Hinton will come to Nova Scotia in May to train the teams participating in the program.

Information on the Root and Branch master-apprentice program is available at WWW dot GOV dot NS dot CA slash OGA and following the news link.