Two new Moose Cree picture books and a Media Player app are being released by The Language Conservancy.
The Language Conservancy was founded in 2005 by a group of concerned educators and linguists in reaction to the severe crisis of the huge decline of speakers of native American languages in the United States.The Language Conservancy stands as the foremost organization working with endangered languages in North America. They are a leader in the use of groundbreaking technology to build language resources and to distribute them to community members.
The northern Ontario Moose Cree First Nation is home to a language that only had 3,000 native speakers as of 2007.
The Language Conservancy, in partnership with the Ininew Friendship Centre and linguist Kevin Brousseau, began working last year on language revitalization resources for Moose Cree speakers.
The two picture books will help beginner and intermediate readers understand and learn basic sentence structure, verbs and pronouns creating invaluable additional literacy resources for the community. The Media Player app allows readers to hear the language from the picture books being read as they follow along. Other features include augmented reality that lets users utilize their phone’s camera to follow along with the book, a playback feature that enables readers to hear the words for items featured in the illustration and an audio guide that reveals the English translation with a tap.
“Wahcheeay, wahcheeay. The Ininew Friendship Centre is proud to work with The Language Conservancy in preserving our Cree Language and promoting our culture through the release of a new Cree ‘L’ dialect picture book and app. Projects like this are imperative in preserving and encouraging the everyday use of the Cree Language. We look forward to one day creating fluent speakers and conversing with our young ones and our elders. May our ancestors continue to guide us,” said Bernice Brunette, Executive Director of the Ininew Friendship Centre.
On Sept.11, from 11:30-1:30pm, the Ininew Friendship Centre will host a release event to hand out free copies of the books. The event will include a free drive-by BBQ, the annual baby welcoming, and an FASD information station.