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Revitalization of the Maliseet language presentation on the UMFK campus

April 4, 2011




The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Acadian Archives/archives acadiennes welcomes Dr. Andrea Bear Nicholas, chair of Native Studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, to discuss the “Maliseet Linguistic and Cultural Survival,” on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in Fox Auditorium. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Dr. Bear Nicholas is in the initial stages of a three-year program aimed at rescuing and promoting Maliseet-language fluency within the St. Mary's First Nation.
Bear Nicholas says the purpose of the project is to emphasize that fluency will best be reached if it begins at the pre-school level when it’s easiest for children to pick up a language. For now, however, her attention and that of the community at St. Mary’s will be focused on producing more fluent adults in order to make a pre-school and elementary immersion program possible in the future.
Dr. Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Art in sociology from Colby College, a Bachelor of Education from St. Thomas University, and a Master of Education from the University of Maine in Orono.
She has been researching, writing, and translating histories of Maliseet communities in collaboration with Maliseet language instructor, Darryl Nicholas.   Dr. Bear Nicholas has published on various topics including treaties, language, education, women`s issues, and Maliseet history.
In 1989, she co-authored the chapter The Spirit in the Land: The Native People of Aroostook in The County and Land of Promise: A Pictorial History of Aroostook County. Among her other publications: The Assault of Aboriginal Oral Traditions, Maliseet Use of the St. John Watershed, Maliseet Treaties, Native Women and Poverty, and A History of the Maliseet People in collaboration with Darryl Nicholas.
Since becoming chair of Native Studies in 1993, she has worked with Dorothy Lazore, the founder of the first native language immersion program in Canada, to develop the first university-based Native Language Immersion Teacher Training Program in North America, and she has become involved nationally in the struggle for indigenous language rights.
For more information on the presentation, please contact Lise Pelletier at 207-834-7536 or by e-mail at