The city council has approved moving forward with a Service Level Agreement that will provide funding to KILN to support indigenous language learning.

As part of the support, KILN will also be able to use the building at 610 Montreal Street as a center for language learning.

The main languages ​​learned at the facility, based on the second language learners available to KILN, will be Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk) and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway).

Deb St. Amant, one of five KILN volunteer directors, says the new building will make Language Nest sessions more efficient and convenient.

“It’s very exciting for us because we haven’t had a stable place to put all of our stuff,” St Amant said.

“It will be really important to have a real space where we can put our learning materials and they can stay outside and not have to pack up and go back to three or four different basements.”

The building will undergo some renovations to make it more accessible, including a fence in the yard to make it safer for children.

The new location is directly on the bus routes and is adjacent to several parks, helping to make up for the lack of outdoor space on the site that KILN, however, plans to use to the best of its capabilities.

For much of the summer, Language Nest sessions were held at 1467 Highway 15, Walking the Path of Peace Together.

KILN will continue to have access to that location, but having access to this building will allow for hybrid sessions in the field and at home, as well as allowing more people to participate solely based on the accessibility of the location.

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In a statement sent by the city, Mayor Bryan Paterson calls the city’s support an important step in the reconciliation act.

“This new partnership with KILN is just one step of many on the shared path toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples,” Paterson says in the statement.

“Supporting language learning, indigenous cultural revitalization, and community connections are ways we can work together to build meaningful and healing relationships.”

The news is exciting for the indigenous peoples of the community, but St. Amant says that KILN has encouraged and will continue to encourage the participation of members of the non-indigenous community.

“It has never been just about indigenous peoples learning languages,” said St. Amant.

“Learning an indigenous language in itself is an act of reconciliation. I always say that it is not necessary to be French to learn to speak French, and that it is not necessary to be indigenous to learn an indigenous language ”.

He adds that through learning indigenous words, people also learn about culture.

KILN doesn’t expect to be in the building until winter, but St. Amant said the city is willing to provide temporary space in the meantime, and that KILN will continue to run programming on the highway 15 site.

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