Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has recently signed two separate memoranda of understanding: one with the Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust in North Uist and the other with Colaisde na Gàidhlig in Cape Breton, Canada.
Sue Fogden, Chairperson of the Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust and Boyd Robertson College Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig have signed an MOU to develop Gaelic language activity in the operations of Taigh Chearsabhagh museum and arts centre in Lochmaddy.
Professor Boyd Robertson said: “North Uist and Sleat were historically linked through Clan Donald and this MOU affords the two communities an opportunity to forge a new association. As the National Centre for Gaelic language and culture, it is incumbent upon us to meet the needs of communities throughout the country and to run classes and courses wherever there is a demand. We were, therefore, more than happy to accede to a request from Taigh Chearsabhagh to establish a learners’ class in the centre and it is very pleasing that this group has now successfully completed our beginners’ course, An Cùrsa Inntrigidh.
"We intend to extend these learning opportunities in Uist as part of this MOU and we shall also be offering Taigh Chearsabhagh support in terms of financial management, language development, the arts and the work of the local history association.”
Sue Fogden commented after the event: “Taigh Chearsabhagh is delighted to have formalised its collaboration with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and is looking forward to consolidating its programme to showcase the Gaelic language and heritage as a culture to be proud of. Just as on Skye, the Uists have a thriving Gaelic scene but the partnership will enhance the sustainability of the benefits of bilingualism, the treasure chest of oral history and local culture. Everyone at Taigh Chearsabhagh is greatly enthused and motivated in anticipation of the development of our partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.”
On a recent visit to Cape Breton, Director of Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, John Norman MacLeod, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Colaisde na Gàidhlig and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig which commits both partners to work together to develop and foster collaboration between the institutions in the furtherance and enhancement of the Gaelic language, culture and heritage. They hope to explore options for extending Gaelic educational provision; supporting collaborative visits and exchanges; promoting Gaelic cultural events and knowledge exchange in areas such as oral heritage, music and the performing arts.
A' Ceangal nan Gàidheal (“Linking of the Gaels”), an international summit was held at the Gaelic college in Cape Breton in July. This was the first meeting of its kind in Canada which brought together groups and representatives/delegates who are involved in developing language, culture and economy in the Gaelic diaspora.
John Norman MacLeod, Director of Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig said “It is highly significant and appropriate that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Colaisde na Gàidhlig should enter into this formal agreement having already established strong collaborative links in the past. This MOU provides shared opportunities to build on common interests and to engage in initiatives to further enhance the Gaelic language and culture, both in Scotland and in Nova Scotia.”
Photograph owned by Iain Stephen Morrison and Colaidse na Gàidhlig.