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Keeping Cree language alive: Regina man offering free online lessons for children

Regina Public Schools' Jeff Cappo is using fun games to teach children how to count and translate words from Cree to English and vice versa.
Regina Public Schools' Jeff Cappo is using fun games to teach children how to count and translate words from Cree to English and vice versa. Twitter / Jeff Cappo

A Regina man is offering free online lessons for children to learn the Cree language while they’re at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Regina Public Schools’ Jeff Cappo is using fun games to teach children how to count and translate words from Cree to English and vice versa.

Cappo, who is the school board’s cultural liaison, said he came up with the idea after he was approached by parents and teachers to come up with a supplemental learning plan that combines learning and games to keep the children occupied.

“Cree has been lost for quite a while and the elders tell me that it’s important to hang on to our language. That’s why the games came out,” Cappo said.

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He is using the same games he plays with his kids and nephews to make it more fun for children to learn the Indigenous language online. He believes that children learn better through games.

“My mother is a fluent Cree speaker. I want her to see that the Cree language is going to be coming alive,” Cappo said.

Cappo posts two video lessons a week on Youtube.

The cultural liaison plans to implement Cree language lessons into regular teaching and hopes it finds its way into the public school curriculum when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

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