[lg policy] Behchoko woman completes language course in Alberta with 4 daughters
haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 10:54:21 EDT 2018
Behchoko woman completes language course in Alberta with 4 daughter
'You're never too old if you want to continue what you're doing for
yourself,' says Therese Mantla
CBC News · Posted: Aug 04, 2018 6:00 AM CT | Last Updated: August 4
Therese Mantla, top, attended the language program with her daughters, left
to right, Melissa Nitsiza, Catherine Mantla, Mary Adele Mackenzie and
Alestine Wetrade. (Submitted by Melissa Nitsiza)
Going back to school 67 years young
Listen to the full interview with Therese Mantla on returning to school
with her four daughters. 8:10A woman from Behchoko, N.W.T., is proving that
the old adage is true — it's never too late to go back to school.
Therese Mantla is 67 years young and just graduated from an
Indigenous language program at the University of Alberta.
"You're never too old if you want to continue what you're doing for
yourself," she told CBC.
Mantla said she wanted to take the course because it's important for her to
pass on the Tlicho language to younger generations. In fact, her four
daughters, Melissa Nitsiza, Catherine Mantla, Mary Adele Mackenzie
and Alestine Wetrade also attended the program with her.
- *Tlicho region looks to bridge language gap between youth, elders
- *New video game brings Tlicho folktale to life*
"A lot of kids in my school and in my community, I don't hear them talking
very much in Tlicho Yatii and they know some basic words but they're not
fluent speakers," she said.
"And a lot of kids they don't know very much about our culture so I like to
pass my language around."
It's never, never too late to go back to university and try to do your best
in your education.- Therese Mantla
Mantla and her daughters attended courses over three weeks in July with the
Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute at the
university campus in Edmonton. She graduated with a Community Linguist
Certificate on July 27.
Students in the program can learn an Indigenous language or gain expertise
in linguistics, endangered language documentation and revitalization,
teaching a second language and language policy and planning.
'Our language is very, very important'
Mantla tries to speak her language when out in public as much as possible,
like when she goes to the store to buy groceries or goes to the bank.
"Our language is very, very important. It's important for me and it's
important for the people in our culture too, that needs to be really strong
among us or we might lose it," she said.
Mantla noted she met people from across Canada at the program in
Edmonton who said they are losing their language.
Therese Mantla, left, graduated with a Community Linguist Certificate from
the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute at the
University of Alberta on July 27. Jordan Lachler, right, is the director of
the institute. (Submitted by Melissa Nitsiza)
She said parents play an important role in teaching their children
"The teacher in the kids' life at the young age is their parents and then
once they get their basics, then the teachers and the people within the
community, the people within the community should be helping those young
people to strive for their language."
Mantla said her children were a great support
"I couldn't drive around Edmonton so they took me here and there and we got
what we needed and we settled and we go to school together," she said.
- *Use of Aboriginal languages drops in N.W.T., bucking national trend
- *FEATURE | My language, my heart
Mantla, and five others who have completed the courses, plan on sharing
their knowledge with youth after school starts this fall.
She encourages young people to continue educating themselves as much as
"It's never, never too late to go back to university and try to do your
best in your education," she said.
Harold F. Schiffman
Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
Phone: (215) 898-7475
Fax: (215) 573-2138
Email: haroldfs at gmail.com
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