HALIFAX: In both Gaelic and English, the MLA for Inverness has good things to say about a member of Nova Scotia’s Gaelic community being named to Education Minister Zack Churchill’s Council on Education.

“There are a lot of students around the province, thousands in fact, that want to learn Gaelic language and history in the education system, and it’s important that the minister has advice from someone in the Gaelic community,” MLA Allan MacMaster told The Reporter last week.

“We want to help ensure that what’s being put out there for school children is as good as it can be.”

During the fall sitting of legislature, MacMaster tipped his hat to Churchill for appointing a member of Gaelic community to the minister’s council. The appointment of Shaymus MacDonald was approved by the Human Resources Committee on September 4.

MacMaster made his statement in both Gaelic and English.

“The Department of Education must have representation of a people to be able to accurately represent who they are,” he said at the time. “This is especially true for matters of language, history and culture.”

The Provincial Advisory Council on Education provides advice directly to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development to provide a regional and diverse voice to decision-making. Shaymus MacDonald is a fluent Gaelic speaker who has many friends in the Gaelic community around the province.

“Young Gaels will now benefit from the insights brought to the table by Mr. Shaymus MacDonald,” he said in legislature. “We know history can sometimes contain interpretation and matters can be conveniently left out to suit one group over another. Local language dialects and traditions deserve their recognition.

“Shaymus MacDonald will ensure the minister and his department benefit from these insights in providing learning experiences to students. I want to thank the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for the good work they’ve been doing over the past number of years to bring Gaelic learning opportunities to students, and I would like to wish Mr. MacDonald success in helping to ensure young Gaels enjoy the discovery of learning more about their people and themselves.”

MacMaster said the Council on Education is a diverse group, including people from Acadian, First Nations, and African Nova Scotian communities, and having Gaels represented is a good thing.