The City of Kingston is partnering with the Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest to support Indigenous community members rebuilding their connections to their culture, and to learn Indigenous languages.
“The plan right now is to make a city space available to Languages Nest, which is a volunteer-run community organization that helps second language learners learn Indigenous languages as a part of connecting back with culture, cultural revitalization and some land based learning as well,” said Jennifer Campbell, Director of Heritage Services with the City of Kingston.
610 Montreal Street will be the new home for the Languages Nest, and to organizers, the space is much needed.
“Right now our resources are spread out everywhere,” said the co-director of the Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest, Deb St. Amant.
“We have that space that is ours and we don’t have to have our schedule based on someone else’s availability. Like, if we want a certain weekend we know that we can have it, whereas when we were renting a space, we were vying for that space with other people.”
Kingston city council has allocated $50,000 a year to the Languages Nest as part of the city’s ongoing reconciliation efforts.
“To enhance their programming, to get some stability and some opportunity for additional staff support,” said Campbell.
“It may seem like a small amount of money for some, but for those who work with not-for-profit and volunteer-run organizations, we all know how much $50,000 can do when you have that opportunity.”
St. Amant, meanwhile, said, “We do not have a lot of money for a place like this, so it’s a huge gift. The combination of the space plus the funding to be able to run it is — it’s amazing, really.”
Both parties say the languages nest could be in the Montreal Street building within the next few months.
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