“So you use paquataskamik if you are fluent (in Cree) and if you are a young kid you use noscheemik … they confused, they’re not saying it properly. That’s too high of a word for them so they just use the simple word, noscheemik.”
When I first read this quote I instantly noticed the impact residential schools and colonization had on language. When language is lost, parts of culture are lost too. Every word in Canada’s Indigenous languages are important. Talking in their language were not just important for their everyday life it was crucial to speak and understand to shared their history through storytelling. The colonized world no longer fits with the words values. For example, the word hjkl could of meant something hilarious but since nobody can understand the language its humour has been lost.
It is sad indigenous peoples sense of language and home has been lost. The places and land in which many indigenous peoples of Canada’s ancestors would of called wonderful feels so downsized and lacking from the definitions behind the words used to express their connection with the land.
It is interesting to note that many young members of Indigenous communities are not being taught the importance of their own culture. The stories about the land are not being told and if they are many people do not understand them. With the lack of story telling the connection towards the land and nature is depleting.
With becoming a teacher I need to remember my place within the land I’m standing on. Treaty 4 and 6 Territory are both places I call home. I need to have a part in the community to understand my connection to it. We stand on this land for some importance that we are not fully aware of! We need to make sure we do more than bury are feet in the earth and instead walk great lengths to understand it. We have many stories and lessons to learn. The world has many cultures to learn from, but, with being in Canada why don’t we know more about our own people. It is time to hear the stories from Canadian soil, not the soil in England that many of us have never or will never walk on. It is funny how we know more about history on the other side of the world versus the true history that can be told but nobody wants to hear here.