An Interview with Filmmaker Eli Hirtle – BOOOOOOOM! – CREATE * INSPIRE * COMMUNITY * ART * DESIGN * MUSIC * FILM * PHOTO * PROJECTS


Were you at all anxious about the idea of immersing yourself in it? Was it outside of your comfort zone?

I’m anxious and excited about being able to embark on my own language-learning journey this year. While working on Voices on the Rise for the past 5 years, I’ve been able to witness and help share stories about people doing such incredible work revitalizing and stabilizing Indigenous languages, in their families and communities, in so many different ways. It’s been really inspiring. I wasn’t able to carve out the time in my own life to focus on it in the ways that I wanted to.

Last fall I made a commitment to making the time this year, so I’ll be doing a Mentor / Apprentice program with one of my language mentors and we’ll be spending 100 hours in full language immersion this summer and fall. We’ve worked together for a few years in a language group at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, so we have a strong relationship, but there is definitely some discomfort with learning a new language. The layers of trauma around reclaiming something that was intentionally and violently taken from your family are present, but the joy of speaking and laughing with my language mentor makes it all worthwhile.





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