Ben Nookemis

I have a great fear that we are gradually losing ground in our language. I would really like to encourage our elders to try and teach our language to our own families that is where it should start. Teaching the language starts from our own home that is how my age group has held onto our language. It is also important that the language be taught in the schools as well. Whatever is learned at school needs to be spoken not only at school but at home and that is the only way I see our language being saved. It is my dream and hope that one day we can walk into our own offices and hear our own language being used within that office. It can be accomplished if they put their minds to it. When I went to residential school I did not know one word of English. It took me the better part of my first year there to learn English and we were fortunate that other students could translate for us. It was quite a challenge but it took roughly one year to learn English and I do not think my hopes are too high to learn our language for the sake of our culture. Our teachings are all within our culture and you need to know the language to understand the culture.