Courses in Dene, Michif, Nakawe coming soon for some Sask. schools

The Saskatchewan education ministry will be kicking off new courses in three Indigenous languages next year.

Last month, the Ministry of Education announced that courses in Dene, Michif and Nakawe would be available at 10, 20 and 30 levels starting this fall. Previously, education in these languages was only made available if the courses were locally developed by teachers or individual school divisions.

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Dene is spoken by roughly 12,000 people in northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the northern territories. Most Dene speakers in Saskatchewan are based in the northwest portion of the province, including La Loche, Wollaston Lake and Fond-du-Lac.

Michif, the traditional language of the Métis people, is spoken in scattered Métis communities across western Canada and by a number of people with Métis heritage.

Nakawe is the traditional language of the Saulteaux, who are mostly based in central Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The decision of adding new courses in the three languages is up to regional school boards.

Creighton Community School and the Creighton School Division currently do not plan to include courses in the three Indigenous languages, but are looking at increasing education options in their three current core languages, which include Cree, English and French.

“We have no plans to add any more core language classes. We are currently looking into offering Cree Immersion, but have no solid plans as of yet,” said Vincent Cable, director of education for the Creighton School Division.

“Creighton has offered core Cree and French for many years.”

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