Antigonish, École acadienne de Pomquet, Canadian Parents for French, Chartreux, Nova Scotia, Official Languages Act 1969, Official Languages Act 1988, Pomquet, Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, St Francis Xavier University
I have been unable to write for the last few days. Nothing could be done. I have long suffered from what is now called “long Covid.” It developed when I caught a virus that caused Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, an illness I never recovered from. It could have been depression.
My siblings and I had a dog and several cats during our childhood. We learned to love animals. But as an adult, I kept a cat or two until Belaud’s death. I have been looking for another Chartreux, but there does not seem to be a breeder in Quebec. Chartreux are difficult to find. Belaud was Belaud II. He was my second Chartreux. Having a cat alleviates depression.
My most intelligent cat was not a Chartreux but a brown tabby who was an Einstein in the cat world. Mouchette was a small cat born in the dead of winter and had lost part of an ear and part of her tail to frost. She never grew into a full-size cat, but I could not see the slightest imperfection in her. I was amazed when she picked up a mushy ball and brought it to me so we could play ball. I have been thinking of her. Dear petite Mouchette.
My students knew I had a cat and were pleased to hear that I was not alone in the blue house. Teachers do not tell about their private life, but students like to hear that their teacher has a cat. They called her my sidekick.
L’École acadienne de Pomquet
I am still thinking about language laws. Outside Quebec, there are no language laws. Students living in large cities may enter a French immersion school. These schools are often described as “private schools within the public system.” They reflect the work and findings of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism and the ensuing Official Languages Act of 1969. The Official Languages Act of 1969 was revised in the Official Languages Act of 1988. These acts do not address education, but the passage of the Official Languages Act of 1969 led to the development of publicly funded French immersion schools and summer immersion programmes. Canadian Parents for French is an association that has encouraged learning French from coast to coast.
Education is a provincial portfolio, but there is federal coordination in this matter, and the University of Toronto is home to the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). The development of Acadian Schools in Nova Scotia reflects recommendations of both Official Languages Acts. One of these schools is the Pomquet Acadian School, L’École acadienne de Pomquet. Pomquet is an Acadian village with a Mi’kmaq name. It is located a few minutes from Antigonish, where I taught French at St Francis Xavier University. I will continue to discuss Quebec’s Language Laws offering education as a more promising alternative.
Love to everyone 💕
© Micheline Walker
25 July 2022