First Nation’s English: A response to Simon’s Post ‘Non-standard French in the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam Reserve’

Posted by Dean Garlick

(This piece was originally a comment to Simon’s post, but I thought it could use greater visibility and could serve as a separate post on its own).

I’ve also noticed a similar stigmatizing effect  in English with First Nations speakers as the one Simon describes in his piece on the French used by the Innu in Sept-Îles. There is often a unique cadence, pace, and grammatical structure that is unique to First Nation’s speakers’ English that unfortunately is often perceived as ‘slow’ or ‘stupid’ by speakers of standard varieties of English. This is extremely frustrating, but more of a reflection of how First Nations peoples are generally viewed and in fact becomes yet another ‘justification’ for discriminatory attitudes.

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