People’s Archive of Rural Nova Scotia

Stories of Everyday Life, Everyday People

Mary’s Reflections on Language and Women’s Strength: Mi’kmaq and English

Nov 22, 2017 | People & Culture

Mary or Hubba, as she is known by her friends, is an Elder from Paqtnkek First Nations. She is very active in her home community and across Nova Scotia. She works for the rights of her people. She is also one of a small minority of Mi’kmaw speakers in her community. In the past, she has actively worked to teach mothers Mi’kmaq, so that they can teach it to their own children. She laments that losing a language is one way a people becomes assimilated. At the same time, she describes in Mi’kmaq why the strength of women is so essential in terms of water, air and food. Now that she is an Elder, she never looks at things in anger because there is always a reason why. Her biggest fear is that we are destroying Mother Nature, the source of everything.

Recorded by Lise de Villiers

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