Archive for the ‘hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓’ Category

Tweets meet digital billboard meets Native cultures

5 April 2011

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 show is from Other Sights for Artists’ Projects. Read also the biographies for the many contributors to this project.

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.

Hip hop Musqueam performer in the news

2 April 2011

Crunch, or Christie Lee Charles as she’s known off-stage, speaks hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (hur) spoken by the Musqueam Indian Band in British Columbia, Canada. She learned the language from her great-uncle and in high school from the First Nations Languages Program.

Crunch has taken her heritage language in a new direction, developing and performing rap. She performed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, at the Utopia Festival at Storyeum for International Women’s Day last month, and at other venues such as a Kelowna talent show.

According to “First Nations Female Artists,” she began performing the language in hip hop after obtaining permission from elders. Christie Lee Charles is also featured in “Young mom performs hip hop in Musqueam dialect,” on the CTV News site.