Learning nēhiyawēwin through language acquisition methods that have informed Bringing nēhiyawēwin Home, a program designed by Belinda Daniels and offered through READ Saskatoon.
Belinda Daniels, onikanew (she who leads), runs a program through READ Saskatoon called, Bringing nēhiyawēwin Home. The program was born from the idea of learning language in a natural setting by enjoying food at the kitchen table, intergenerationally, with family members. The nēhiyawēwin (Cree) language classes are offered to anyone who wants to learn nēhiyawēwin in Saskatoon and encourages learners of all ages.
Language learners come to the class in a good way by introducing and positioning themselves in the community. The group offers tobacco to the language spirit and follows protocol by saying a prayer and smudging at the beginning of class. By learning Cree around the kitchen table, learners are able to learn food terminology in a coincidental way. Some terms and vocabulary include learning how to ask and say: Are you hungry?; I am hungry; What is this?; this is good; I would like some more; soup, bannock, pop, juice, milk, salad, pizza, etc.
In the classes, Daniels employs three language learning methods which are the direct method, task-based learning, and accelerated second language acquisition. Daniels hopes that her students become intrinsically motivated to bring language home and pass it on to the next generation of nēhiyawēwin language learners. By reclaiming language we work to restore identity, nationhood, and make gains towards sovereignty and self-determination.
Please note: The quality of the audio and video in each interview on NCCIE.CA may vary. NCCIE has been a capacity- and skills-building project for students and youth. They have been "learning-through-doing," learning how to arrange and conduct interviews while, at the same time, gaining experience with the technology.
National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health
Knowledge Resources and Publications
Podcast: Voices from the Field 001 - Belinda Daniels (June 2017)