In this issue, the third edition of Mac-talla published by way of the cooperative effort of shunpiking magazine and Còmhairle Na Gàidhlig, Alba Nuadh, you will find the passion, creativity, conscience and aspirations of Gaels, those who firmly believe that Gaelic language and culture have an important place in the Nova Scotia of today. Minority language rights in Canada and the world, endangered languages, the first-ever map of Gaelic place names of Nova Scotia, short stories, travel, book and music reviews, historical documents, concerns of youth and students, in-depth resources, and more...
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In this issue

To Our Readers * By TONY SEED

Self-determination and Gaelic Nova Scotia; the community and international context * By LEWIS MACKINNON

Historic meetings across Nova Scotia *

LANGUAGE RIGHTS - Over 400 people turned out to meetings throughout Cape Breton and mainland Nova Scotia to discuss a vision and a strategy for the preservation and development of the Gaelic Language in Nova Scotia late last fall...

Gaelic - The Question of the Right-to-Be * By LEWIS MACKINNON

Gaelic Nova Scotia - An Economic, Cultural, and Social Impact Study *

The report by Dr. Mike Kennedy on the status of Gaelic in Nova Scotia is finally available to the public. The report goes into the history of the Gael from the time of the ancient Celts to the present day.

'Non-official' languages: a tradition, a right, a future *

One language in the world disappears every week. The number and status of speakers of Gaelic, Acadian French, Mi'kmaq and other First Nation languages are under severe pressure. Canada proclaims its showpiece legislation to the world - the Official Languages Act, the Multiculturalism Act, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, etc. - yet fails to provide minority and national languages with a right and a guarantee. The equality of all languages is a growing concern and a basic democratic right.

Taking time out from unseasonably warm holiday weather, representatives of the Gaelic, Acadian French, Mi'kmaq and Irish language communities met for an unprecedented dialogue on language rights.

On The Side of Gaelic

What drives a person to take on the task of learning another language?

International

Tony Blair's 'Celtic Crisis' deepens *

The Struggle for Irish: 'from the bottom up' *

Pàdraig - Siadhail, associate professor and holder of the D'Arcy McGhee Chair of Irish Studies, Saint Mary's University

Scottish Independence: 'No Ifs, Buts or Ands!' *

An interview with Catherine Mason, Sterling Scotland

Spain closes daily Basque Newspaper *

 

Also in this edition

Youth & Students

'It's Just Cool to Know': Following in the footsteps of our ancestors

Gaelic language, culture and history is cool. So say the youth.

Students Step Out: The Dalbrae-Scotland Exchange

Twenty students recently returned from a 12-day whirlwind tour of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in March, 2003. Original text in Gaelic.

A'Sireadh Beatha anns a'Ghàidhlig / St. FXU Students Pursue Gaelic Aims

Young Gaels in Hi-tech Breton Link

Students campaign for democratic language rights

Mass Petition to the Nova Scotia Government

M"os Na Gàidhlig - Gaelic Awareness Month 2003

 

International

Can English be dethroned?

Launch of daily Irish language newspaper, La

Census shows growth of Welsh

Cornwall: 'welcome to the store'

Nova Scotia and The Highlands join forces to save Gaelic

 

Travel

Road to the Isles. A journey through language, leaving, loneliness and belonging BY SHEENA MASSON

Reflections on a visit to the Isle of Lewis by a second generation Scottish-Canadian

Soul of Scotland? By IAIN CRICHTON SMITH

Gaelic is a language of poetic injustice and little is done where funding is needed to stop the tongue dying. "Shall Gaelic die! What that means is: shall we die?" A visit to Sabhal Mor Ostaig - the Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

 

Culture & Life

Cuimhne an t-sluaigh - The People's Memory By CAROLINE CAMERON

Am Bràighe Celebrates 10 years

Short Stories : The Deaths andMy Grandfather's Gaelic By MONICA MACKINNON

With A Light Heart By JEFF MACDONALD (GOIRIDH DÒMHNALLACH)

"People of Nova Scotia, don't let this powerful culture fade..."

Oral Tradition: Joe MacKinnon in conversation - the humour of the Gael

"Agus chan eil fhios'm ciamar a dh'ionnsaich sinn e, a bhi 'cluinntinn (m')athair is mo mhàthair a'bruidhinn ann an Gàidhlig tha seansa." ("And I don't know how we learned it ... listening to my father and my mother speaking in Gaelic I guess")

 

Books

Where were the songs of women and their work?

Viriginia MacIsaac reviews at "my mother's door: poems by Joyce Rankin" (Sydney: Sea-Cape Publishing)

 

Music

Two of the extraordinary piping families in Cape Breton; the MacIntyres and Jamiesons / Sgeul Mu Dheidhinn Dà Theaghlach de Ph"obairean: Teaghlaich-ean Mhic an t-Saoir agus Mhic Sheumais ann an Ceap Breatann By BARRY SHEARS

The passion of 'an act of resistance'; Gaelic recording brings listener to the frolic

Upcoming CD: MacFingan's Sgàthan

 

Document

A Cry for the Equality of All Languages (1923) By IAIN MACDHÒMHNAILL (JACK D. MACDONALD), translated by EFFI RANKIN

"Though 'The Land of Mountains' is physically the same as she was in the days of Ossian and Finn, she grows feeble in old age and sends out a cry to her children to help her in her present attempt to rejuvenate Gaelic and place it on an equal footing with other languages."

When he spoke, people could visualize the mountains, they could almost see the mist swirling about their peaks, hear the murmer of brooks and the singing of birds as he described 'The Land of Mountains.'"

 

Language Resources: Related Links and Articles Online *


Related Articles: Language Rights

 

An Issue of Rights, An Issue of Society

Editorial, Mac-Talla, June, 2002

 

Native Language Immersion Teachers Program: First of Its Kind in North America *

"There used to be more than 54 Native languages in Canada. By the end of this century it is predicted that there will only be three if strategies do not change drastically," says Prof. Andrea Bear Nicholas who led the development and implementation of the program at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick.

 

The Right to Our Language: Some Aspects of How the Problem Poses Itself *

by the South Asia Research Institute

The complete text of a presentation at the First World Punjabi Conference held in Prince George, British Columbia from August 5-7, 2000.

 

Alarm Raised on World's Disappearing Languages *

By Steve Connor, science editor, the independent, London, May 15, 2003

 

Info Graphics

Diversity in Jeopardy: Languages and Life Forms, Scientific American

Total Language Distribution, Scientific American

 

Cuba: Third International Congress on Culture and Development *

On the relationship of art, heritage, identity and the economy, held in Havana, Cuba from June 9-12, 2003. The congress issued a universal call for the creation of spaces to allow exchangeof initiatives, strategies and projects "in a world ruled by neo-liberal globalization, which threatens our cultures, as it implies a homogenization of approaches and concepts."

 

Minority Rights: the Case of SOS Montfort *

After a four-year battle on 1 February 2002, SOS Montfort, defeated the attempts of the Harris government to close down the full-fledged community teaching hospital in Ottawa. The victory was a result of a tenacious struggle. SOS Montfort based itself on the principle that Franco-Ontarians have rights by virtue of being a minority and that these rights have to be provided with a guarantee. It went all out to mobilize people across Canada to support this just cause, mobilizing everyone it could irrespective of language, of their nationalorigin, political affiliation or ideological belief. It also explained that a victory for one minority would be a victory for all minorities.

Basque Country: New Political Platform in Defence of the Right to Self-Determination*

An interview

 

United States: The "English Only"Movement

"Obituary: The Bilingual Education Act 1968-2002" by James Crawford, Spring, 2002. On 8 January 2002, Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as the Bilingual Education Act, was eliminated as part of a larger"school reform" measure known as No Child Left Behind, proposed by the Bush administration and passed with broad bipartisan support.

 

"ENGLISH ONLY" - Document from the American Civil Liberties Union, 1996

 

"OFFICIAL ENGLISH? NO! - A Chronology of the Official English Movement" by Jamie B. Draper and Martha Jimènez, TESOL 1996. TESOL is a professional association for teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

 

For more background on the question of US English, please consult other articles on the Internet by James Crawfornd under "Resources: Related Links and Articles"