Archive for the ‘resources’ Category

Resources: US tribal colleges/universities and revitalization

8 May 2013

Laura Paskus has compiled a list of books and articles about language revitalization. See her “24-4 Summer 2013 “Language Revitalization” Resource Guide” on the Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education site. The article includes a link to a map of tribal colleges and universities in the US.

Ban’s opening remarks at 10th session of UNPFII

16 May 2011

The Tenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues opened today in New York, NY.

Along with the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous Peoples, the UNPFII is an organization mandated to deal with indigenous people’s issues. The UNPFII has been holding sessions since 2002, providing advice to the UN Economic and Social Council on indigenous issues, including culture.

At the opening of the forum today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke. Among his comments, he stressed the importance of elders, saying:

“There is an indigenous saying that, ‘When an elder dies, it is like a light burning out.’ This is a beautiful expression of respect for the wisdom of age.  But it could also be a warning. We could just as easily say that, ‘When an indigenous custom dies, it is like a light burning out.'”

Read the entire speech at “Permanent Forum Can Play Dynamic Role in Changing Deplorable Situation of Indigenous People, Secretary-General Says at Opening of Session” on the UN website.

Endangered Languages Technology Site

9 April 2011

A new site was put up two days ago titled “Center for Endangered Language Technologies.” It is part of the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

The stated goal of CELT is “to aid the preservation, revitalization, documentation and other activities related to Endangered Languages through the use of novel accessible language technologies.”

This sounds like it will be a very exciting program!

Types of Language Programs

5 April 2011

Since at least 2008, Our Languages has been providing resources for aboriginal languages in Australia and the Torres Strait. Funded by the Australian government, Our Languages has a blog, language lists by region and much more information.

One of the great resources is the Community Language Programs page, where you can search for a language program. Because there are many different types of programs, help is provided in understanding them. the Types of Programs page describes six different types:

  • Second language learning – teaching as a second language, along the lines of taking Spanish or Latin in high school
  • Revival – aiming to get community members speaking again. There are three subtypes:
    • Language revitalization – when the older generation still speaks the language
    • Language renewal – when there are no speakers with a full range of language knowledge
    • Language reclamation – when there are no full or partial speakers. Records must be consulted to begin.
  • Maintenance – working to decrease pressure against a language and increase pride
  • Recording – oral documentation of a language
  • Awareness – educating the community in general about the importance of language
  • Bilingual- building language skills and knowledge in two languages

One of the other great pages on the Our Languages site is the Resources page. One of the links there is for “Aboriginal Placenames: Naming and re-naming the Australian landscape” from the Australian National University E Press and edited by Harold Koch and Luise Hercus. The book can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF.

FPHLCC & First Voices!

28 March 2011

The First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council administers the First Voices program, a wonderful array of learning tools for Canadian languages (in English and French). Their glossary pages include:

Each First Nations people has a welcome page, a portal and links to a glossary, art, and much more information. With more than 60 communities documenting their languages, 35 are currently available online. The pages even include matching games and quizzes to assist in the learning process.

For kids, check out First Voices Kids, for a more graphic-oriented approach.

The FPHLCC site itself has great resources, too. Check out their news releases page, for example. In December, free iPod, iPad and iPhone apps were announced for Saanich (str), or SENĆOŦEN, and Halkomelem (hur), or Halq’eméylem. Another excellent page is their revitalization page, a place to begin if interested in developing a language revitalization program.

British Columbian Language Funding

25 June 2007

Last week, the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation of British Columbia announced funding in the amount of $1.2 million to support language and culture in the westernmost province of Canada.

According to the press release, $500,000 or just over 40% of that funding will come from the New Relationship Trust (NRT), a non-profit organization supporting First Nation communities in areas such as education language and economic development. The remaining amount will come from the province itself, the Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC (AHABC), and the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council (FPHLCC).

In addition to supporting community language/culture authorities, the funding will assist with language/culture camps, master-apprentice programs, and pre-school immersion programs.

The FPHLCC has put together a useful online Language Toolkit to assist people wanting to learn an endangered language, type in it, or put together a revitalization program. It also includes further links to funding sources, stories for children, and documents such as sample consent forms useful for language research programs.