I’ve got a pretty awesome story to share with you! Recently I was asked to speak on stage alongside Buffy St-Marie and other incredible Indigenous females at a Women’s summit in NB🤩 if you don’t know who Buffy is, she’s a big deal to many of us. She’s like our Cher! Haha. She’s 78 & still rocking out hard, an activist, musician, singer, a SHERO to many!! Well, I had the honour to hang with her at a dinner along with a few others.
Once the topic “language” came up, I leaned in, got brave & asked her a couple of questions. I asked her what her native language was, when did she learn, did she experience any lateral violence (bullying) while learning— and guess what, she hasn’t! She started learning as a young woman, even before she was famous. She was encouraged, they’d giggle with mess ups, but was never shunned, teased, or discouraged by other native people (the way it should be). She was shocked to hear of the language bullying & language ego that is happening here on the East Coast of Canada. It was incredible to hear this from her... in her 78 years of living and all of her years of activism... she’s never heard of native communities bullying each other when speaking our native tongue. Around the table, we shared some stories, examples, solutions. She reminded us to respond to the lateral violence with kindness (even tho it is very difficult) & encouraged us to stick together with like-minded souls, to keep encouraging each other to keep our language alive. She even spoke of our dinner convo the next day AT HER CONCERT!🤩 .
One of the solutions she advised was, let’s continue to shout-out, praise all of those who are language keepers, teaching, sharing the language. So let’s do that! Let’s continue to lift up & appreciate those who are keeping a native language alive. **Feel free to tag them below!**.
Hope this encourages you to keep learning & speaking our native languages🤗
There’s a new fire in my heart thanks to her❤️ Fun fact: she’s the FIRST woman to breastfeed on national television 🙌🏽 #SpeakMikmaq #LanguageKeeper - 5 months ago