Trust hails work of Comunn na Gàidhlig
Comunn na Gàidhlig delivers record numbers of Duais Iain Muir certificates
Dozens of Gaelic-speaking school students from across Scotland gathered this week on a residential course in the highest village in the Highlands as part of their Duais Iain Muir (John Muir Award) and to celebrate the rich connections between language and the natural world.
The Tomintoul event was organised by Comunn na Gàidhlig (the national body for Gaelic speakers), which for the past five years has worked in partnership with the John Muir Trust using the John Muir Award to help engage hundreds of Gaelic medium students with nature and the outdoors.
This year the partnership reached a new milestone. Over 50 young people from Skye, Lochaber, Glasgow, Islay, Inverness, Mull and Dingwall came together to participate in a range of activities including: bushcraft; gorge walking and exploring the landscape and culture of the local area.
At a special ceremony in the Richmond Memorial Hall, conducted entirely in Gaelic, students from each of the schools delivered eloquent presentations showcasing their work towards achieving the prestigious environmental Award. Their fascinating stories included descriptions of the use of trail cameras to film and collate information on wildlife, such as otters, pine martens, foxes and – less successfully – the elusive Scottish wildcat. Other activities included studying trees and bird life, cleaning up litter and learning bushcraft skills.
Gaelic-learner Cristie Moore from the John Muir Trust (pictured above with Dòmhnall Morris) helped present John Muir Award certificates to the students. She said: “Scotland’s nature and landscape is inextricably linked to language and culture. Simply looking at a map of Scotland’s mountains and wild places demonstrates this.
“We’re really pleased that five years on, the appetite for Gaelic students to use the John Muir Award to help their learning continues to go from strength to strength. The John Muir Trust is extremely proud of our partnership with Comunn na Gàidhlig.”
Dòmhnall Morris, Development Manager for Comunn na Gàidhlig added: “The John Muir Award offers a flexible learning structure for Gaelic speakers interested in nature and the outdoors. It encourages young people and leaders to engage in their local environment through the medium of Gaelic.
“The residential section of our programme means that young Gaelic speakers from across Scotland can come together to share their experiences and celebrate their achievements. It's also a lot of fun and the participants have made many new friends since we started delivering Duais Iain Muir.”
Article updated 9 May 2017