Excerpt taken from an interview with Louis Lesage, PhD (biologist and Director of the Bureau Nionwentsïo, at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Church at Wendake, Quebec)

Why is it important to preserve the Wendat language?

Culture has many aspects. One aspect is the language. When you lose your language, you lose a part of your culture. The language helps you to describe your environment, to clearly express what you think, to make some colour in your way of life – it identifies you.

I’m a French-Canadian. I’m not an English-Canadian, so I speak French. I have my own vocabulary, my own colour when I speak French. If I lose my language, I will have to use another language to express the same thing, but with different words. The Huron-Wendat language is a very describing language. Unfortunately, the last fluent people – we lost our language about 100 years ago and there is a program to try to rehabilitate the language to use old dictionaries, to use old documents and to learn it at school in night lessons by linguists. And it’s a very difficult language from what we see and what we’ve learned. I personally learned the first lesson, and I’m not good in foreign language and it’s very complex. But what I love about this language is the way it is describing things with a lot of colour.