Gaelic Language Revival in Nova Scotia Strengthens - Cape Breton Student Activists Call For Qualified Gaelic Speaking Staff

 The Cape Breton Post has published a letter to the newspaper's editor under the headline "Gaelic Students Ask For Teachers Fluent in the Language".  This is a stunning example of the revival of the Gaelic language in Nova Scotia which was home to 100,000 Scots Gaelic speakers in the late 1800's.  A group of students who are passionately committed to the revival of the Gaelic tongue in Nova Scotia after decades of malign neglect at the hands of the Provincial government, have taken a stand. 

The group admonish school district officials for not maintaining sufficient staff who are fluent in the language to satisfy the increasing demand amongst the student  population for Gaelic Medium instruction.  The students state the following in an open letter to school administrators. 

"In grades 4-9, we can choose to take either Gaelic of French.  Our schools are Sgoil Mhic Fhraing a'Chaolais (Rankin School of the Narrows) in Iona, Bayview Education Centre in Port Hood, Dalbrae Academy in Mabou, St. Andrews Junior School in Antigonish and St. Andrews Consolidated School in St. Andrews, Antigonish County (these communities form an arc through the heartland of the Cape Breton Gaelic homeland).  Our question is: How can kids in a core Gaelic program learn the great Gaelic of their community if the school board and administrators don't hire someone who is fluent in Gaelic?  Some of us have even been told that 'Gaelic is a dead language and that we are wasting our time'.  What people don't seem to understand is that Gaelic is not just a course we have chosen to take, it is our language and we love it."

"It is the native language of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents and it is going to continue to be our language and the language of our children. That is why we get so upset when we see that Gaelic always seems to get the short end of the stick."

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