The Mi'kmaw version, Nɨsqnanamuksit Sqolj, was translated and narrated by Dr. Bernie Francis. Dr. Francis, DLitt, grew up on the Maupeltu (Membertou) First Nation community in Cape Breton, NS. From 1970-1974, he worked as the Director of the Court Worker Program for the federal court system, a program that ensures fair and proper treatment for Mi’kmaw people including access to a translator. After leaving the court system, Bernie began his training in linguistics with linguist Doug Smith from the University of Toronto. Bernie completed that training in 1980, having developed a new orthography of the Mi’kmaw language with Professor Smith. The Smith/Francis orthography is now officially recognized by the Mi’kmaw chiefs in Nova Scotia, as well as by the Canada-Nova Scotia-Mi’kmaq Tripartite Forum. Dr. Francis received an honorary doctorate from Dalhousie University in October, 1999. He has also been selected by the Saint Mary’s University Senate to receive an Honorary Doctorate in May 2018. He continues to work on many projects including the Pjila’si Mi’kma’ki: Mi’kmaw Place Names Digital Atlas and Website Project.
A published author, Dr. Francis’ most recent book, The Grammatical Structure of the Mi'kmaw Language, was published in August, 2016, co-authored with Dr. John Hewson, head of Linguistics at Memorial University in Newfoundland. In 2012, he published The Language of this Land, Mi'kma'ki with co-author Dr. Trudy Sable. This book was shortlisted to win The Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing. He has also published numerous articles in scholarly journals and native newspapers.
Angela's first book, The Purple Frog, launched on October 4, 2018 and was also translated into Mi'kmaw, in honour of Mi'kmaw History Month in October. Click here for details in the launch release.
"I think this story will resonate with children who are bullied. It’s how the story starts off. Hubert is being bullied and his school mates are making fun of him because he’s different. It’s important to get this message out because we are in a time period where bullying is becoming normal and it’s not right. Children need to learn in a different way that bullying is not ok. That it does hurt people and it’s ok if someone is a little, or a lot different than everybody else. The message is not only for the kids who are being bullied but also those who are doing the bullying and for the parents as well. If you see your child bullying someone or your child is being bullied, try to find a way to fix it. Hubert’s mother tells him he is special and unique and not to let anyone tell him differently. It’s an opportunity for parents to step up and help their child." Angela Jeffreys
The Purple Frog is available to order from Amazon.ca (hardcover and paperback),
Dr. Bernie Francis
Angela Jeffreys was born in the UK and moved to Canada as an infant. As her family moved around a lot, she was always the new kid - with glasses, so she was teased a lot. As a result, she became a loner. Books and her imagination became her best friends. She read voraciously and imagined all sorts of adventures. When she was a teenager, she wrote stories for English class assignments and for fun. Reading, writing, hiking and rock hounding were her teen passions. When she became an adult, she did what every adult does…she got a job. She worked in an office, in the insurance industry for 20 years. Her authentic self finally came out in 2004 when she started her own business teaching others to become their own authentic self. Angela became a mom and read to her daughter every day since she was days old. When her daughter was five-years-old, she asked her mom to make up a story instead of reading a book, and The Purple Frog was born.
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Narration by Dr. Francis