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Indian Language Program

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MARCH 1981      v11 n03 p22  
A success story involving young Indian students from Little Red Reserve.

According to Ed Peesker, the principal of Christopher Lake elementary school, there has been good response in the school and in the community towards a new program introduced to his school by Angus Esperance, the co-ordinator for the Indian Language Program for Prince Albert and Saskatoon districts.

Peesker feels the program has brought about a closer relationship between the Indian and white students due to the white students' participation in the Indian Language Program.

Esperance said approximately 40% of the students from grades 1-3 are Indians from the Little Red Reserve and 83% of all students in grades 1-3 are involved in the program with 40% of the involved students being of white ancestry.

The program, which started in late October is a pilot project for the school, teaches in the "Th" dialect (Wood Cree) under the supervision of Sam Halkett, a member of the Little Red Band who was trained by Esperance through the Cultural College in Saskatoon.

The program participated in a Christmas concert at Christopher Lake in which the students sang Christmas carols in Cree which greatly impressed every one in attendence including Esperance who commented "I was impressed with the outcome after only two short months of classes."

The program is being implemented in a number of other locations in the Prince Albert district, all of which have similar success stories with young Indian and non-Indian students.