Clint Burnham has teamed up with Lorna Brown to create public art on the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. On the south end of the bridge is an electronic billboard—the sort you see announcing traffic delays on the highway—located on Squamish Nation land.
The title of this art project is “Digital Natives,” and its form is short messages displayed on the billboard. Through April, Digital Natives is inviting North American artists and writers (Native or not) to send short messages up to 140 characters in length, or Tweets, through their Twitter account @diginativ. They will select up to 30 for display on the bulletin board beginning mid-April.
Part of the project appears to be translating Tweets into First Nations languages. Some of the difficulties and successes of translation to Kwak’wala (kwk) are discussed in “Learning through translation” on the Digital Natives site. Other languages of the project include Squamish (squ)—the language of the Squamish Nation—and hǝn’q’ǝmin’ǝm’—the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (hur).
The article “‘Digital Natives'” on the Tyee site provided the inspiration and much of the material for this blog entry.
Squamish Language is in the process of creating podcasts for learning Squamish. So far, four are available. Podcasts can be downloaded onto iTunes on your personal computer or onto your iPhone, iPod or iPad.