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A Celebration of Indigenous Languages in Alberta

Date & Time:
April 27, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Language Research Centre, CHD 4th floor

In conjunction with local Indigenous groups, the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures invites you to join us in celebrating the cultures and languages of some of the Indigenous peoples here in Alberta at an event being held on
Thursday, April 27 from 6-8 pm at the Language Research Centre at the University of Calgary.

Researchers at the University of Calgary have frequently partnered with members of local Indigenous communities over the past several decades to gain insights about human language, Indigenous cultures, and spirituality through the study of these distinctive languages. We celebrate the languages and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Alberta, and the contributions they have made to ongoing research.

No event celebrating our local Indigenous languages would be complete without also sharing food. We invite attendees to enjoy traditional Indigenous snacks and appetizers while you enjoy the various featured exhibits and speak with our presenters.

For more information

PROGRAM (Opening Ceremony begins at 6:15 pm)

Developing digital resources for Blackfoot: Language documentation and preservation

We showcase our work with the Blackfoot language, and report on how we are developing a series of integrated web tools including an Oral and Text Stories Archive, a Database of Conversational Phrases, and a Digital Dictionary. The technical framework for this project is adapted from the Common Digital Infrastructure for Algonquian Languages and Algonquian Linguistic Atlas. Using collaborative research methods and various levels of user interfaces, we are developing online resources complete with media (sound, image and text examples) and various levels of grammatical analysis. Importantly, the dictionary and the stories archive are integrated with each other; dictionary entries can be linked to stories that provide examples of the words in use, and conversely, words found in the stories can be linked to the dictionary to enrich learners’ vocabularies. (Algonquian Linguistic Atlas) (Blackfoot Stories Archive) (Blackfoot Dictionary Project)

Presented by Blackfoot Elder, Noreen Breaker and two-time UCalgary Linguistics Alumna, Dr. Heather Bliss (BA '03, MA '05) (University of Victoria).

Learning (about) Stoney Nakoda: Students of Language and Linguistics

The Stoney Nakoda language is the focus of two current courses in The School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures (INDL 205 (Indigenous Language I: Stoney Nakoda Language) and LING 505/605 (Field Methods). At one of our exhibits, you will be able to see some of the recent work and hear some passages by new speakers of this language.

Music composed by the Blackfoot Youth Rap Camp

A collection of rap music composed by Blackfoot youth in cooperation with some Elders and set to music by The Rap Camp thanks to a Grant to Darin Flynn.

Final song from the 2015 Rap Camp

Ɂeghanighúdíł hú Denesųłiné ɂá dáyaghúlti - 'When we get together, let’s speak Denesųłiné'

Shirley Cardinal of Cold Lake First Nations and two-time UCalgary Alumna, Dr. Andrea Wilhelm (MA '92, PhD '03) (University of Victoria & University of Alberta), discuss the status of Denesųłiné (A Northern Dene language) and describe language maintenance efforts that are taking place in a number of communities.

Blackfoot language and linguistic research

The research by two current doctoral students in linguistics has been significantly informed by work with Elders of Kainai Blackfoot.

Alumna Emily Elfner (BA '04, MA '06) (Postdoctoral Teaching and Learning Fellow, UBC) and Alumnus Joseph Windsor (MA '12) (Doctoral student UCalgary) will be on hand to discuss the important roll of collaborations between Indigenous peoples and linguistic research. They share insights from working with Blackfoot Elders and some of the knowledge they have gained as a result of those partnerships.

Community language projects: The Tsuut'ina Gunaha Institute

The Language Institute of the Tsuut'ina Nation has been working on and completing some amazing projects towards the revitalization of Tsuut'ina using various traditional and contemporary means, which their Director, Steven Crowchild will share.

Cree: The Peoples' Language
Canadian Language Museum / Musée Canadien des Langues

The Canadian Language Museum presents an exhibit about Cree, the most widely spoken Canadian Aboriginal Language. Six colourful panels present maps, photos and information on topics including the syllabic writing system, word formation, animacy, and the future of Cree. There are also audio clips of Cree dialects from across Canada. (Website)