One of the things I find most unique about my current job in child care is that they promote the cultural well-being of the children. Lately I’ve been spending quite some time working in the Aboriginal Head Start Programs (for the record my favourite sites to work at!) and being a witness to the revival of Indigenous languages. It’s truly been a joy to play a small, yet active, part in this – I’m finally doing something Professor Kim! 😉
As of last week one of my coworkers has been teaching me common phrases in Ojibwae to use while interacting with the children.
It’s been challenging learning the pronounciation of some phrases but as I practice every night (i.e. listening to the phonetic break down of my coworker’s recording) I’m starting to get the hang of it!
What I find interesting so far is that within the Ojibwae language there are different dialects. For example Ojibwae speaking people from Minnesota sound different from those in northern Ontario. This part makes it challenging when knowning what word to use if there is more than one way of saying it. For example the word for “where”, depending on the Anishnaabek/ Ojibwae region, can be aapiish or aandi. And the word carrot can be either jiisenhs or okaadaak.
I continue to look forward to this journey of becoming a more cultural competent worker.
Thank you for reading!