December 14th, 2019

Galt Museum again offering Blackfoot language classes


By Bobinec, Greg on November 14, 2019.

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald

gbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com

The Galt Museum & Archives has seen a positive response to the Blackfoot language classes offered during the past year and they will be starting a new set of classes tonight at 7 p.m.

The Galt has partnered with Blackfoot language expert Julius Delaney to provide the classes to the community. Delaney also created a language curriculum with the Kainai Board of Education and the Galt says his expertise is valuable to the people taking the language classes.

“One of the invaluable parts of hosting Blackfoot language classes as a museum is the learning of culture, history, respect and appreciation as part of learning a language,” says Susan Burrows-Johnson, executive director and CEO at the Galt.

During the past sessions, the Galt has seen dozens of participants attending and learning the different conversational phrases in Blackfoot. Galt representatives say the classes not only teach the participants the language, but also about the culture, as it is a major part in understanding the language.

“Words and phrases are developed and evolve out of cultural context,” says Janae Redgrave, community program co-ordinator at the Galt. “We may not perceive it while speaking our primary languages, but when you start looking at your language through another lens, it becomes clear very quickly that words communicate through shared culture. Context intimately informs language.”

The Blackfoot language classes have attracted significant interest and attendance, which has prompted the Galt into hosting the class for the third time. The classes will be held every Thursday evening from Nov. 14 to Jan. 23, except for Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Attendees do not have to register for the sessions and the cost to attend the classes is included in admission to the museum, with annual pass holders being able to participate for free.

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