wolastoq - the beautiful river
the people wolastoqiyik
We are called "people of the beautiful river"; a people intimately tied to the landscape they inhabit. There are about 5,000 Maliseet people spread across 8 communities in New Brunswick, Maine and Quebec.
The Wolastoq is our water. It is our highway. It is our way of life.
the language latuwewakon
Ktahcuwi kilun mecimi-te wehkanen ktolatuwewakonon weci skat ksihkahtuwohq.
We always have to use our language so we don't lose it.
There are only around 500 fluent speakers of the language remaining. There have been concerted efforts to record and revitalize the language, but it remains endangered. The Malisset are nearly linguistically identical to the Passamaquoddies of Maine; in fact, we share a dictionary ( http://pmportal.org/ )
With this project, I hope to make traditional Maliseet songs more accessible to our people and encourage other young people to engage our cultural and language.
the songs lintuwakonol
Song is sacred. Through our songs, we come to know ourselves. They bring us a sense of identity and shared culture. Pow wow culture informs much of the music that is sung in our communities today, but this project will focus on those songs that are distinctly Maliseet and rooted in our language, landscape and heritage.