Stories of Our Elders

Stories of Our Elders is a website dedicated to telling both the experiential and mythological/ traditional stories of the Cree and Ojibway people. The site takes a very innovative approach to archiving 22 stories in written, digital audio, and digital video formats all provided in both English and Cree or Ojibway. There’s also a small but interesting set of historical photographs related to the stories and storytellers and a map with detailed information about the tribes involved.

 In addition to providing a very interesting set of stories told by a variety of respected elders and community members, the site also offers users tips on moving forward with similar projects. They specifically address difficulties related to embedding syllabic fonts, which would be useful for anybody working on a multilingual web project, as well as tips for acquiring funding to pursue these types of projects.

November 25, 2010   No Comments

Report on the Status of B.C. First Nations Languages

I noticed that Terri has posted a YouTube clip related to this report earlier in the semester but since I have been taking such a close look at it for my own work, I thought I would post the entire report here. There is plenty of very useful up-to-date data in the report and the findings are very relevant to the work we’ve done in the class to date. It is worth noting that as I’ve brought this up within the community I am working in, there has been plenty of skepticism about the motives for the report and the findings within. I suggest you make those judgments for yourself, as at the very least it is an interesting read filled with compelling data related to the importance of preserving First Nations languages and the specific challanges and opportunities with British Columbia.…/2010report-on-the-status-of-bcfirstnationslanguages.pdf


November 25, 2010   No Comments

UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

As mentioned in the learning café, the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger contains a comprehensive guide to the thousands of endangered languages around the world, including those in Canada and British Columbia.

The Atlas is described on the UNESCO site as:

“……presented on the eve of International Mother Language Day (21 February), enables searches according to several criteria, and ranks the 2,500 endangered languages that are listed according to five different levels of vitality: unsafe, definitely endangered, severely endangered, critically endangered and extinct.”

The interactive map and statistics page are easy to navigate. Most of the available information appears to rely on census data, which is in some cases dated and comes with the usual set of limitations related to census taking. However, being able to compare data on issues facing indigenous languages around the world is quite useful when discussing languages issues related to Canadian First Nations.

And who knew there was actually an International Mother Languages Day?!?!

November 25, 2010   No Comments