Language Commissioner to speake in North Hatley
“Communication leads to community – that is, to understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing,” wrote Rollo May.
But what if a “speed bump” makes communicating difficult? For example, between French and English speakers, with different languages and cultures. Throw in a generational difference. How then can we create what Rollo May was talking about?
Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser is to tackle this topic in a talk at the Unitarian Universalist Community, or UUEstrie, in North Hatley, on Sunday, July 15, at 10 a.m. He will speak about creating community between French and English speakers. The meeting will be bilingual.
“The Unitarian Universalists of the Estrie are a group of people who are extremely interested in justice, equity and compassion in human relations,” said Rachel Garber. “Our community dates from the late 1800s. It has traditionally been English-speaking, but in recent years an increasing number of our younger members are Frenchspeaking.”
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“Often, lack of conflict is viewed as evidence of harmony. But it could also be evidence of social distance. We are seeking ways to foster understanding, collaboration and compassion between French and English speakers within the context of our small group where many, but not all, members are bilingual to varying degrees. We are delighted that Commissioner Fraser has agreed to come and speak.”
Fraser has been Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages since 2006. His mandate is to promote Canada’s two official languages and protect the language rights of official language communities. He is a former journalist and author of several books in both English and French, notably Sorry, I don’t speak French: Confronting the Canadian crisis that won’t go away. He is also adjunct professor of journalism at Carleton University.
UUEstrie meets in its heritage church building at 201 rue Principale, North Hatley, at the intersection of Gagnon Street. Members of the public are invited to come and participate in the discussion. After the meeting, an informal exchange over coffee is planned.
Graham Fraser, Commissioner of