Bilingual kindergarten class including Michif starts in Saskatoon


St. Michael’s elementary school in Saskatoon has launched a new Michif language pilot project.

The school has been home to the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Core Michif Language Program, but now has this new bilingual Michif Kindergarten class.

“We really want to make sure were growing the Michif language and Michif culture,” says Principal Cristin Dorgan Lee. “By having that housed here at our school we have opportunity to revitalize the language and celebrate the Metis culture.”

For the  past five years the school has been focused on Metis teachings and culture and this new generation of language speakers are going to help revive the language.

Language keeper Sandra Laliberte says she grew up speaking the language, but over the years it’s been harder and harder to find other fluent speakers to converse  with besides her husband.

“As a Metis woman it makes me very proud to speak my language to speak the language in the classroom with the kindergarteners and I can see it already even though we’ve only been here for two weeks with these little ones,” she says.

“They are using  the language.”

Laliberte enjoys speaking with the kindergarten class in Michif all day and thinks this pilot project will be successful.

“Big merci to them because it’s such a joy to be here to be doing this I truly believe it will be a success.”

Reporter / Saskatoon

Priscilla is Cree and a member of Mistawasis Nehiyawak in Saskatchewan. She has worked with APTN National News in the past as a reporter in Winnipeg, host for an entertainment segment, and the 2010 Winter Olympics. Wolf is an alumni of the INCA –Indian Communications Arts Program at FNUC & has a BA of Indigenous Studies from the University of Regina. She brings over ten years of experience working in media across the prairie provinces.