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CNC’s Cultural Day features practices of past, present generations

The College of New Caledonia is honouring Northern BC’s Aboriginal culture, holding a Mini-Expo in the Gathering Place.

Booths of many information sessions and activities took place this morning, including one exhibit about the dialect of the L’heidli T’enneh.

Teacher Janet Kozak and her 96-year-old mother, Mary Gouchie, teach the language at various schools across the city and hopes students are willing to revitalize the aging tradition.

“I don’t want it lost because we are going to lose it; doesn’t matter who learns it. We don’t want any mixture of other dialects because I think there’s about 10 dialects around Prince George.”

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Both are currently creating a dictionary to commemorate the language and Kozak says some students have already taken interest.

“I share a classroom at Prince George Secondary school with the Spanish teacher where they can see my work. The students said we’d like to learn the language because it looks and sounds neat.”

While the book itself may seem big, she says more words are expected to come to life soon, expanding the dialect on a bigger scale.

“My Mom is thinking of new words, words that she can remember. She gave them to our linguist and he’s the one that helps my Mom write our language.”

Kozak’s mother Mary is one of the remaining elders fluent in the original dialect of the L’heidli T’enneh.

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