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Musician brings Native language to stage in Canada Day concert

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | First Nations in Canada
More on: alex cuba, british columbia, languages, ron austin
     
   

Alex Cuba shared the verse he will be singing in the Wit'suwet'in language. "I've been practicing the verse for a few days and really enjoying how musical the language is," the musician wrote on Facebook. Photo from Facebook

Award-winning musician Alex Cuba will be showcasing a Native language during his Canada Day performance on Friday evening.

Cuba, who was born in Cuba, will sing a verse from one of his songs in Wit'suwet'in, a language spoken in British Columbia, CBC News reports. He collaborated with Ron Austin, an artist and hereditary chief of the Wet'suwet'en Nation, to get the translation and pronunciation right.

"After I heard it, I said he was a full-fledged Wit'suwet'in," Austin told CBC of his work with the musician.

Austin grew up with Wit'suwet'in but fewer than 200 people can speak it fluently, CBC reported. He said children were punished for using it when they went to school.

"We were not allowed to practice our language and not allowed to speak any native language without being disciplined," Austin told CBC. "Now you see our children around the village, all they do is speak English."

Cuba is performing at the Canada Day evening show on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Get the Story:
Behind Alex Cuba's Canada Day performance in Wit'suwet'in (CBC 7/1)


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