APTN National News
A nine year old girl was recently reprimanded by her bible school teacher after speaking her native language in a class held at her community school.
Crystal Jr Roulette of Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation said she is now scared to speak the Ojibway language she’s been learning at home.
Crystal Jr. said she chose to end her class prayer with Meegwetch instead of amen and then her teacher became upset with her.
“I said’ ‘Meegwetch’ and then she (the teacher) went in the hallway and then I went to the washroom,” explained Crystal Jr. “And she stopped me and then she said that…’You will not use that language in
my class. Do I make myself clear?’”
Her mother Crystal Roulette is furious about the incident. She’s been teaching her children the almost lost language since they were born.
“There’s a lot that I’m learning too. I locked out my Anishinabe language and that’s why my kid’s first language is English. It’s supposed to be Ojibway. But for this woman to come and say
this to my baby? No,” said Crystal who believes what happened to her daughter goes against everything she’s been teaching her children.
She then reached out to chief and council to address her concerns. The chief filed a complaint to the director of education, George Beaulieu, on February 7th asking the school to look into the teacher’s behavior.
As of now, Crystal said the teacher is still in the classroom.
APTN reached out to Beaulieau for a comment but he refused to speak on the allegations.
Crystal hopes other families won’t have to go through the same thing.
“No more tormenting for my children. No more tormenting for us or for the community as well, regardless of their actions.”