Elsipogtog to kick-start immersion
Children will learn traditional language from earliest grades
Times and Transcript April 23, 2008
FREDERICTON - In a province where language education has been a contentious issue since the Liberal government's decision to cut early French immersion programs, a First Nations community is taking its linguistic destiny into its own hands.
The chief of the province's largest First Nation is planning to rebuild Mi'kmaq immersion programs in that community which have been decimated in past years by a lack of funding.
Jesse Simon, chief of Elsipogtog, near Richibuctou, is planning to kick-start the program with his band's share of the $40 million committed yesterday by Education Minister Kelly Lamrock for First Nations education over the next five years.
"At an early age the more languages you learn, the better the brain develops and the more worldly you become," he said, noting that fund will also be directed towards establishing more arts and sports programs that will capture the imagination of students.
"Everybody should learn a different language no matter if they are native or non-native. I think if our non-native brothers would learn our language they would have a better understanding, and I think we should learn French as well," said Simon, ...
Education Minister Kelly Lamrock said there are still many details to be looked at, but he says the Elsipogtog initiative represents exactly the type of initiative the provincial and federal government expect to see grow out of the funding.
"There is a lot of faith that school districts and band councils who are closest to the individual schools know what they need," he said.
And from one of the comments--
"Education Minister Kelly Lamrock said ... the Elsipogtog initiative represents exactly the type of initiative the provincial and federal government expect to see grow out of the funding....
'There is a lot of faith that school districts and band councils who are closest to the individual schools know what they need,' he said."
Let me get this straight: Kelly Lamrock speaking approvingly of early immersion? Kelly Lamrock saying that school districts and individual communities should be able to shape educational decisions?
Did I wake up in another dimension?