News release

Spring Legislation will Enshrine Mi’kmaw as Nova Scotia’s First Language

NOTE: The Mi’kmaw translation of the news release follows

Mi’kmaq is Nova Scotia’s first language and legislation next spring will help preserve, revitalize and promote it.

The number of people who can speak Mi’kmaw is in rapid decline and the Mi’kmaw language is at risk. The government will start working immediately with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, the collective voice for Mi’kmaq education, and other Mi’kmaq organizations and communities to develop legislation to support this effort.

“Language is a fundamental aspect of cultural identity and the Mi’kmaw language reflects the culture of the First Peoples of this province,” said Karla MacFarlane, Minister of L’nu Affairs. “Mi’kmaw language revitalization is critical to understanding and preserving Mi’kmaw culture and supports ongoing reconciliation.”

Several Mi’kmaw language speakers are teaching and preserving the language in schools and communities. The Province will support those efforts by reinforcing the reconciliation work undertaken by the Treaty Education Nova Scotia initiative and through the collaborative development of legislation to ensure that hearing, seeing and speaking the language becomes a normal part of life in Nova Scotia.

Quotes:

The Mi’kmaw language legislation will allow for the Mi’kmaq to work in partnership with our provincial counterparts. The development of Mi’kmaw language legislation is a pivotal step in the revitalization and retention of the Mi’kmaw language. It is imperative for reconciliation that the Mi’kmaw language be seen and heard across the entire province. It is also important for society at large to see the importance of the preservation and protection of the Mi’kmaq language. This endeavour is not something our Mi’kmaq leadership can do alone, so we are very excited to begin this process together. Chief Leroy Denny, Eskasoni First Nation, Chair, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey

I am overjoyed and anticipate only good things to come from the work we set out to do. We need to work hard for the survival of our language and our ways of being and knowing for our children and future generations. The original language of this land is Mi’kmaw and it is our intention to restore this language for all generations whether you live in community or in urban settings. Blaire Gould, Executive Director, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey

As a language teacher, the state of the language is constantly on my mind. In this crucial time for the Mi'kmaw language, recognizing Mi'kmaw as the first language of Nova Scotia could help to prevent the extinction of the land's natural language, to heal the youth through the reclamation of our identities, and to ensure that the efforts of those who fought to preserve the language haven't been in vain. Jasmine Ma’sl, Language Teacher, Potlotek First Nation

It’s the right thing to do because the language comes from this land, and from the people. People are losing our language, and it’s been a long fight to keep it alive. This legislation will reinforce the importance of us and our language. Elder Silipay Denny, the oldest Mi’kmaq Elder in Nova Scotia, Eskasoni First Nation

Quick Facts:

  • Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey is the collective voice for Mi’kmaq education in 12 of the 13 Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia; it also administers the Indigenous Languages Component (ILC), a Canadian Heritage funding program, which supports the preservation and revitalization of the Mi’kmaw language
  • Mi’kmaw will be recognized as the first language of the Province under the legislation
  • this legislation aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and would reinforce the importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action for governments to preserve, promote, revitalize and protect Aboriginal languages through legislation and education
  • in 2019, a Mi’kmaw Language Task Team, represented by the Province and Mi’kmaq, engaged all Mi’kmaw communities and the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre to create The Mi’kmaw Language Initiative – Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Community Engagement Sessions Report 2019; it recommends that the protection of language be facilitated by legislation
  • in 2027, if current trends continue, children aged four and younger will not be able to speak Mi’kmaq; the number of children under age four learning Mi’kmaw decreased from 44 per cent in 1999 to just 20 per cent in 2013

Additional Resources:

Mi’kmaw Language App: https://www.kinu.ca/mobile-apps

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Media Contact:

Brian Taylor
Cell: 902-220-1727 Email:

Translated news release:

Mi’kmaw na mawi-amskwesewey tli’suti kmitkinu aqq tplutaqn kisitasitew ksinuk apoqntmn tel-klo’tmumk, apija’tumk aqq siawa’tumk.

Pemi-aji-tkle’jijik Lnui’sultijik aqq L’nui’suti pemi-ksika’sik. Kaplno’l ankmayiw pqoji-maw-lukuti’tita Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, nujo’tmi’tij Mi’kmawey kina’matnewey, aqq pilue’l L’nue’l mawio’mi’l aqq wutanl l’tunew teplutasik ta’n apoqntitew na tel-lukutimk.

“Tli’suti maw-keknue’k wjit ta’n wenik aqq L’nui’suti wejiaq ta’n telo’lti’tij Mi’kmaq ula Saqmawewa’ki.” teluet Karla MacFarlane, Nikanus L’nuey Mtmo’taqn. “Apaji-mlkiknewa’tumk L’nui’suti keknue’k wjit teli-nsitmumk aqq siawa’tumk telo’lti’tij Mi’kmaq aqq apoqntik pem-maliaptasik apiksiktuaqney.”

Eykik L’nui’sultijik ekina’mua’tijik aqq weji-siawa’tu’tij tli’suti kina’matnewo’kuo’ml aqq wutanl. Ta’n ula tel-lukutimk Saqmawewa’ki apoqntitew aqq ketlewa’ttew apiksiktuaqney lukwaqn pem-maliaptmi’tij Ankukamkewey Kina’matnewey No’pa Sko’sia aqq maw-lukatmumk teplutaqn ta’n tl-ketlewa’tten nutmumk, nemitumk aqq ewe’wmumk L’nui’suti kulaman naqalo’tten tel-we’wasik No’pa Sko’sia.

Telua’tijik:

“Teplutaqn wjit L’nui’suti iknmuatew L’nu’k maw-lukutinew Nuji-mawaknutma’tilijik No’pa Sko’sia. Keknue’k kisutasiktn Teplutaqn Wjit L’nui’suti kulaman apajiknatew aqq siawa’sitew Teli-Lnui’simk. Keknue’k wjit apiksiktuaqn nmitasin aqq nutasin msit tami eymu’timk No’pa Sko’sia. Keknue’k elt wjit msit wen kjijitun tetuji-ketlewe’k tel-siawa’tumk aqq maliaptmumk L’nui’suti. Ula tel-lukutimk mu kisi-newtuktmi’tik Saqmaq, na wjit tetuji-wlta’sultiek pqoji-mawuktmnenew ula lukwaqn.”

  • Saqamaw Leroy Denny, Eskisoqnik, Nikankopit, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey

“Paqsitpi wlta’si aqq nenaqate’tm ta’n kelu’k koqoey wjiatew ta’n tellukuti’kw. Tli’sutiminu aqq ta’n teli-L’nuo’lti’kw miamuj melkuktmu’k wjit knijannaq aqq elmi’knekewaq. L’nui’sulti’kip kmitkinaq tett tmk aqq apaja’tu’k L’nui’suti wjit msit L’nu’k tlia’ wikin L’nue’kati kisna Kjiank.”

  • Blaire Gould, Nikanu’skw, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey

“Tetapua’tekemk na ula mita ta’n teli’sultimk wejiaq kmitkinaq, aqq kniskamijinaqi’k. Kikmanaq entu’tij teli-l’nui’sultimk, aqq sa’q matnaqatimk tel-siawa’tumk ta’n teli’sulti’k. Ula teplutaqn ketlewa’ttew tetuji-keknuo’lti’k aqq ta’n tel-keknue’k teli’sulti’k.”

  • Kisiku Silipay Denny, maw-kisikuit Mi’kmaw No’pa Sko’sia, Eskisoqnik

“Ni’n L’nu-kina’muet, aqq ta’n tel-pukuik teli’sulti’k ne’kaw ankite’tm. Keknue’k nike’ ta’n tla’sitew L’nui’suti, ketlewite’tasik Mi’kmaq na mawi-amskwesewey tli’suti No’pa Sko’sia jiptuk kis-naqa’tten mu ksika’siktn kmitkinaq, npilan aqq apoqnmua’n nutqo’ltijik kjijitunew ta’n weni’tij aqq kulaman ta’n wenik sa’q atiknetmi’tij L’nui’simk mu pisu’-lukutiki’k.”

  • Jasmine Ma’sl, L’nu-kina’muet Potlotek

Kinua’taqne’l:

  • Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, nujo’tmi’tij Mi’kmawey kina’matnewey wjit newtiskekl jel tapu’kl L’nue’kati’l No’pa Skosia. Nujo’tmi’tij elt L’nui’sutiey Wiaqa’tasik (Indigenous Languages Component (ILC)) Kanataewey Telo’ltimkewey Mtmo’taqney ta’n wejiaq suliewey apoqntmumk aqq siawa’tumk L’nui’suti
  • Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey nujo’tik kina’masuti aqq ta’n teli apaja’tumk L’nui’suti
  • Ula tplutaqn-iktuk ketlewitte’ten Mi’kmaw na mawi-amskwesewey tli’suti No’pa Sko’sia
  • Ula tplutaqn wije’ti’tij Mawikwajik Mawio’mi’l Kisutmi’tipn L’nue’l Ketlewo’qnn aqq mlkiknewa’ttew tetuji-keknue’k Ketlewo’qney aqq Apiksiktuaqney Pipanuijkatmi’tij kisutmi’tip Kaplno’l tla’taqatinew wjit teli-anko’tasikl, tel-apaja’tumkl, tel-melkiknewa’tumkl aqq tel-maliaptasikl msit Lnue’l tli’suti’l ewe’wmumkl tplutaqnn aqq kina’masuti
  • 2019ek L’nui’sutiey Pipanuijkaqney eltasikip, naspultijik Saqmawewa’kikewaq aqq Mi’kmaq mawo’lanew msit L’nue’kati’l aqq Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre aqq l’tunew Mi’kmawey Tli’sutiey Lukwaqney – No’pa Sko’sia L’nue’kati’l Mawaknutmamkl Wejiaq Klusuaqney, 2019. Teluek apoqnmasuti wjit teli-anko’tmumk tli’suti amujpa wejiaq tplutaqn-iktuk
  • 2027al, newte’ siaw-tla’sik koqoey, ma’ mijua’ji’jk newipuna’tijik kisna aji-nutqo’ltijik nta’-L’nui’sulti’k. Ta’n te’sijik mijua’ji’jk L’nui’sultijik nisiaqsip weja’tekemk 44% 1999ek mi’soqo pasik 20% 2013ek.

Me’ kinua’taqn etek:
Mi’kmaw Language App: https://www.kinu.ca/mobile-apps

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