It is an Aboriginal and community-based initiative intended to contribute to the foundation’s mission to preserve, protect and interpret First Nations history, language, culture and artistic heritage, the university says in a press release.
Currently, the podcast is available in Michif, Cree, Dene, Dakota, and Saulteaux. Additional podcasts in these and other languages will be released as they are produced.
” We have joined a wonderful circle of language teachers and guardians. »
Adjunct Professor at First Nations University in Canada, Shannon Avison, welcomes the implementation of such a project. However, she acknowledges that for some teachers and students, podcasts are a new format they will use.
Some of the pkiskwêwin podcasters are fluent in the language, others are language learnersas you say.
It is very exciting to give them training and technology so that they can conduct interviews in their ancestral languages for the first time.says Shannon Avison, who is overseeing the project.
Indigenous languages in Canada at risk, says UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that three out of four indigenous languages are at risk in Canada. The country has a total of 90 indigenous languages.
The First Nations University of Canada states that in Saskatchewan, the Solto, Nakota, Dakota, Lakota, and Meshef languages are among the most endangered.
The United Nations has declared the period 2022-2032 to be the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (A new window). This classification places special emphasis on the rights of indigenous peoples to preserve and promote their own languages.
Jacqueline Ottmann, president of First Nations University in Canada, believes it is important to work towards preserving indigenous languages.
There is an urgent need to work actively to preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages, before we lose more knowledge keepers, speakers and teachersindicates.
” We have a great opportunity to facilitate and support the teaching, learning and sharing of our native languages. »
The podcast project is funded by Heritage Canada with support from First Nations University in Canada. Current funding for pîkiskwêwin runs through March 2023, says Shannon Avison.
She hopes to find ways to make production sustainable, so that learners and educators can continue to communicate, learn from each other, and share their languages with future generations.
This initiative also provides extensive outreach and employment opportunities for Indigenous companies, professionals, knowledge preservers, language teachers, and students.
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