Tech Ties: Merging Oral Culture, Language Lessons and Today’s Youth

Oral culture societies kept identity and tradition alive by sharing history and recording important events through stories and song.  In this way, lessons were taught, virtues were embedded, and spirituality was strengthened.    Colonization led to the demise of many Indigenous languages.   As a result, the very foundation of the culture was jeopardized.

Today, a concentrated effort is being made in many Aboriginal communities to revive traditional languages, song, dance,  and return to the roots of the culture.  As a result, oral culture societies are coming back to life.  One such group is the Laich-kwil-tach peoples of Campbell River, who have been working hard to teach Kwak’wala, the traditional language of their people, to the youth of the city.  Unfortunately, despite concentrated efforts, participation among both Aboriginal and non-Aboroginal youth remains slim and inconsistent.

In an effort to appeal to more youth and increase their cultural education, how can technology be used to help record and revitalize the oral culture and language of the Laich-kwil-tach peoples?

To investigate this topic it is important to:

1) identify steps already taken to revitalize the language / culture

2)  identify challenges

3)  research existing ideas

4)  explore and apply current technology as a means of recording  and sharing traditional language and culture

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