Jade LaFontaine (2019)


My name is Jade LaFontaine. I am Coast Salish on my father’s side from Spuzzum BC, and Algonquin on my mother’s side from Maniwaki, Quebec. My major is First Nations and Endangered Languages, and I am passionate about Indigenous language revitalization and reclamation.


1. Who was your practicum partner organization, and what did your project entail?

My Practicum partner organization was The Carnegie Community Centre located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The project they put forward to our class got me excited because the Centre wanted an Indigenous language program for their Indigenous members. While the proposed project was creating a program, what it ended up being was the creation of a list of Best Practices for language program implementation in an urban context.


2. How well prepared did you feel entering the Research Practicum?

I felt prepared going into Practicum as I have great support here at UBC, and I felt that FNIS 320 really helped to get me ready for what was coming.


3. What is one thing you learned from your Practicum experience? What was the highlight of your Practicum experience?

One major thing I took away from my experience was that often there is a great idea, but before you can tackle a big project, sometimes you need to start by building the proper foundation of understanding and resources instead of jumping right in. The highlight of my experience was the time I actually got to spend at the Centre, meeting all the people who could benefit from a program like this, and hearing what they wanted to see for their languages.


5. What is some advice that you would give to future Practicum students?

The advice I’d give to future students is to make sure you are prepared for your project to change drastically, and your focus to be narrowed or expanded. Make sure you are able to adapt, and that you are ready for potential changes.