We always welcome feedback on our activities,
and invite anyone interested to become involved in our
committees and help to develop these projects.
At this time, the focus
of our work is supporting dialogue and development throughout
the communities that form the nest within which for our Gaelic
language and culture grows.
We are looking at a few
approaches, including face-to-face meetings in communities to
collectively assess progress, and to get feedback on our recent
draft planning work. These discussions are to be followed by an
ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) workshop for community
workers to explore how to better support their work. Then
further community discussions will embark on mapping community
assets that support, or might become a support Gaelic.
our Stories – drama workshops
The story of Gaelic in
Nova Scotia is not well understood, and many who know the story
speak little of it because of the pain and anger that losing
their language brings forth. We think that it is time to tell
this story in powerful way, so that people understand why we
want to speak Gaelic, and so that people who have suffered from
this loss will be given the space to share their experience and
move from grieving to healing.
“Telling our Stories” is
a series of drama workshops wherein Gaelic learners take real
stories collected from native Gaelic speakers and English
speakers about their experiences being separated from their
Gaelic language, and develop a play production for the public.
The whole project will be a chance for people province-wide to
work together on their Gaelic, and learn drama skills which they
can then bring back to their own communities. The play itself
will be presented with an opportunity for discussion afterwards,
where people can reflect on evolving attitudes about language
and traditional culture in our society.
Comhairle na Gàidhlig
has received funding from the ‘New Horizons for Seniors’ program
which allows us to support communities in hosting activities and
outings to bring seniors together around Gaelic.
The program focuses on encouraging volunteerism and
breaking isolation of seniors. We are working to blend these
objectives with growing our Gaelic speak community, by making
lasting connections between seniors groups and local Gaelic
learners to share time and skills. Four communities have
enlisted in the program which will run over the winter and into
the spring of 2013.
On a regular basis,
Comhairle na Gàidhlig hosts a provincial gathering for the
Gaelic community, offering a day of workshops, family
activities, and Gaelic language sessions for the curious, and
for new and seasoned Gaelic learners. We alternate each year
between Cape Breton Island and Mainland Nova Scotia, hosting in
St. Andrews in Antigonish County in 2012, and heading to Cape
Breton for May 2013.
The event typically
involves daytime workshops, our Annual General Meeting, a
Céilidh time in the evening, and a traditional Marag dinner,
with special guest speaker.
Gaelic Language Workshops
Comhairle na Gàidhlig
offer Gaelic language workshops periodically. Our working model
is week-long residential immersion learning. Our goal is to
develop our teaching capacity in Nova Scotia through
strengthening the language skills of tutors and prospective
Comhairle na Gàidhlig
hopes to see more and more of these sorts of learning
opportunities available to Gaelic learners, and will be glad to
support these initiatives in any way we can. We will continue to
develop these programs, making sure that we are complementing,
and not duplicating other great initiatives in the community.
we pursue funding, and are usually successful in hiring a
returning student for summer employment. Responsibilities of the
student were helping to plan and execute our provincial
gathering and include organizational tasks, updates on the
Gaelic Council’s website and events calendar, and assisting and
representing the Council at community Gaelic events.
hosting these positions in Inverness County, the site of our
administrative office, however the positions are open to
students from across the province. All applicants must have
access to reliable transportation, a computer, and access to
Applicants must be returning full-time university students, and
they should be studying in Celtic, cultural or community
studies, or have experience in Gaelic language and cultural
activities – however, all interested returning students are
encouraged to apply, since there is such a range of skills and
interests that can be accommodated in the position.
funding is received, the 14 week position will provide
experience in communications, promotions and research work for
students. Pending funding approval, the anticipated start date
will be at the beginning of May. Applications should be
postmarked or E-mailed by 6:00 pm, April 8, and include a cover
letter, resume, and names and contact information of three
Bridges throughout Municipal Government
year, we deliver a program of making presentations to Municipal
Councils throughout the Gaelic regions of the province. We have
been very well received, and the meetings have been informative
for us; developing personal connections within the governance
environment that we are working has been encouraging. Through
this project, we have been able to raise the Gaelic profile a
little more as local newspapers cover our presentations. Our
presentation is an overview of our concerns, an update on our
plans for the next few years, and a request for their support in
principal, and financially when possible. Response in financial
terms and in terms of a show of support from the grass-roots
level has been gratifying to date.
Spaces for Gaelic Conversation in Communities
We will continue to work
with communities to discuss how to provide more informal and
accessible ways for people to share Gaelic socially. Gàidhlig
aig Baile Classes are an essential piece in growing Gaelic, but
every learner needs a community of speakers and a place where
they can gather with other speakers and share and practice.