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Bangor schools will launch a Mi'kmaq language course next spring

The Bangor School Department is planning to launch a Mi'kmaq language course next spring.

Bangor High School Principal Paul Butler says the idea for the course came from a community member. The course will be taught by John Dennis, a Mi'kmaq tribal member who is completing an indigenous language education program at MIT.

Butler says Dennis will Zoom into the class from Presque Isle each school day to teach language and culture.

"Our goal is that it has both language and study acquisition, but is enhanced by all the cultural ways in which language comes alive," Butler says.

Butler says the initial pilot course has 17 students, but the school hopes to expand it in future.

A report from earlier this year found that a 21-year-old state law requiring Wabanaki studies Wabanaki studies is still not being "meaningfully enforced" across the state.

Butler says the school does have a strong Wabanaki history program, but the language course offer something different.