An early learning pilot project at Westmount Community School is supporting the resurgence of Michif among children and their families.
As part of a partnership with Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S), Saskatoon Public Schools is providing children and families with access to Michif language development at an early age and enhancing Métis culture within early learning classrooms.
Westmount is the home of Ma Taant sa Plaas (Auntie's Place), a full-day Michif early learning program open to students from throughout Saskatoon. Prekindergarten students will attend Monday to Thursday. The program complements the school's existing Métis/Michif Cultural Program, which has worked to infuse Métis/Michif culture, language, and traditions into all grades and curricula.
Information and registration about the Michif Early Learning Program is available on the school website.
The Michif early learning program is designed to preserve, strengthen and transmit Michif language, culture, and traditions. This unique program will provide children ages 3 and 4 with an experience that will build a strong cultural Michif/Métis identity and increased academic success.
Children entering Ma Taant sa Plaas will learn through a Michif/Métis perspective. The program will involve Michif speakers, Lii Vyeu, families, and community to share in knowledge of language and traditions. The program will use provincial curricula that focuses on play and exploration to create essential Métis/Michif learning experiences for young children. While Ma Taant sa Plaas is open to students from across Saskatoon, preference will be given to students who self-identify as Métis or Michif.
Family engagement is essential for the revitalization of the Michif language. The family engagement component of the program reflects the importance of the traditional role of Métis/Michif families in the development of a child's identity and learning.
The Michif Early Learning Pilot Project is a two-year project made possible thanks to $200,000 in annual funding from Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. The funding provides for Michif Language Keeper and teacher staffing, extending the school day for students, professional learning opportunities, and the creation and distribution of Métis resources.