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Learn an Indigenous language with Serge Bouchard

Renowned anthropologist, Serge Bouchard, will give two conferences in Yellowknife next week.

The multi-faceted presenter will be discussing how the combination of Indigenous and Francophone languages has built the Northwest M├ętis. He will also go into detail about the lives of notable historical figures who helped shape the Northwest Territories.

Bouchard has a history of blending the heart of Indigenous communities into his francophone background, having spent five years with the Innu people of Labrador.

At first, you have to be a little crazy [to have to learn a new language so quickly]. I’m in my seventies now, but this was 50 or so years ago. I lived in the bush with the Innu, as many people did at the time. I did a lot of field work, you could say.

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There are difficulties when you thrust yourself into any new culture. Bouchard was not immune to those hardships.

With the community I was staying with, long ago, a lot of the people were elderly. Most of them spoke neither French nor English and that made the whole beginning process very difficult. You learn very quickly, without compromise, that this language was important for communication, in many ways.

You can hear Serge share his experience, free of charge, on August 29th and 30th at Yellowknife’s Aurora College Campus. The conferences will run from 7:30pm – 9:00pm both nights.

According to Bouchard, there will be both English and French translators on hand, due to the fact that the first conference will be spoken in French and the second in English.

For more information, visit our events page.

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