Former Kalinago Chief & Kalinago Rights Activist, Irvince Auguiste recommends Kalinago Language be taught to Kalinago children in their school’s curriculum, so as to preserve it
Former Kalinago Chief and Kalinago Rights activist, Irvince Auguiste, speaking on “The importance of The Indigenous Language”, suggested that a method in which the Kalinago Language can be taught to Kalinago children is through its introduction in the school’s curriculum.
He also spoke about a dream of having a school called the Knowledge Centre where the Kalinago language, the way of life& survival skills can be taught.Auguiste recommends embracing & developing the language instead of having to revive a dead language in the Kalinago Territory.Auguiste, among former chiefs and prominent members of the Kalinago territory, was speaking at the language symposium organized in line with the UN’s selected theme for this year’s International Day of World Indigenous People, ‘Indigenous language’.
Historian Cozier Frederick gave a brief synopsis of the history of the Kalinago language – his topic: A Kalinago Perspective on the Kalinago Language. He noted that the Kalinago Nation has a history of resistance and resilience. While many believe that the language has been obliterated, Frederick argued that it has not been completely lost.
He pointed out that the roots of the indigenous language are not only evident in the Kalinago Territory but in every community in Dominica. He said the language remains in the names given to various villages as well as in words that we commonly use. Examples of village names include Itassi (Vielle Case), Layou, Calibishie, Coulibistrie. Other commonly used Kalinago words are: barbeque, balata (tree), Sisserou and agouti.
Frederick statedthat “Language is important to any civilization and we have to honor this, for the sake of our ancestors, and for our children”.
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