Richard Kistabish is an Anicinabe (Algonquin) from the First Nation community of Abitibiwinni, Quebec, Canada. He fluently speaks French and English, as well as Anicinabemowin, his traditional language. He grew up in the boreal forest on the shores of the Harricana River, where he was raised in his language, learning to practice the culture of his ancestors, until the age of six. He was then sent to the Indian residential school in St-Marc-de-Figuery, near Amos, where he lived until the age of 16. Richard was born Ejinagosi, a name that predestined him to have an impact, since it means “the one who tells”. Therefore, he could not remain silent in the face of the cultural genocide of Canada’s First Peoples.
Nid anicinabe ijitawinan odehi nid ijigijewinan, ni kacka emidaman, kidji nepidji tagok ka iji nedimiyak, ka iji inabidimak enigokwakamigak, kidji mizeyabidamak kidji manactowatc ka mamakatenidagok acitc e ijinagoziyak pepjik nid acinabe akinanan.
“Our language is the heart and soul of our culture, as it allows us to communicate with each other, to perpetuate our concepts, our vision of the world, in a holistic way while respecting the uniqueness and characteristics of our respective communities. Language unites and brings us together.”