April 29, 2010

Manitoba play in Métis dialect

Métis language to take centre stage at Le Cercle Molière

By Arielle GodboutThe closing play for next season at Le Cercle Molière theatre is already creating buzz—partly due to the fact the dialogue will be in French Michif, a dialect of Manitoba’s Métis.

It’s a first for the St. Boniface theatre company, which will premiere the new play next April.

"That is my understanding, that they’ve never focused on this language the way this play does," said the La Salle-based playwright, Rhéal Cenerini.

The play—Li Rvenant—takes place in a fictional Manitoba community of Métis fishermen.

The main character returns to his village after being exiled with a mission, Cenerini said.
Below:  "Rhéal Cenerini’s newest play, Li Rvenant, features substantial parts of the dialogue in French Michif, a dialct spoken by some Métis in Manitoba."

Saving Cree via Facebook

Poke from the future, protect the Cree past

Ernest Hester is using Facebook to help preserve his traditional language

By Zev Singer
Ernest Hester is trying to preserve the East Cree language, one Facebook posting at a time.

The Carleton University student, worried about the future of his language, which has about 13,000 speakers, decided a few months ago to start a Cree Facebook group.

For a small language to have any chance of survival, the key, obviously, is enthusiasm from young people.

Young people like Facebook. So far, more than 400 members have joined the group.
Comment:  For more on saving languages via Facebook, see Cherokee Language on Facebook.

April 22, 2010

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April 12, 2010

8th annual Oklahoma language fair

Eisenhower Elementary School’s studies help preserve American Indian languages

Children study to preserve American Indian languages

By James S. Tyree
Niigan Sunray, a third-grader at Eisenhower Elementary School, said she practiced 10 months to tell the story of "Tobi Ofi,” or white dog, in the dialect called Alabama Six-towns Choctaw.

If practice didn’t make perfect, it was close enough, as she won the individual spoken language contest Monday during the eighth annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair.

"It’s our migration story, from the west to the east,” Sunray said of a Choctaw band that moved back to the southeastern United States. "It was fun for me.”

Niigan is one of 636 children of all ages registered for the two-day language fair at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Candessa Tehee Morgan, the event’s coordinator, said 25 American Indian languages will be spoken in 370 presentations.

April 03, 2010

Customer service in Cree, Inuktitut

RBC becomes first Canadian bank to offer indigenous languages telephone serviceRBC today announced the introduction of Cree and Inuktitut, two of the most commonly-spoken indigenous languages in Canada, to its multi-language telephone banking service. RBC is the first Canadian financial institution to offer telephone services in these languages.

Launched in 2008, RBC's multi-language telephone service has more than 2,600 specialized interpreters who help with day-to-day basic business and personal banking inquiries such as opening an account, paying bills or requesting foreign exchange information at no cost to the client. Interpreters are available to help translate 180 different languages.

"Canada is home to a variety of languages that many organizations do not recognize, or have the capacity to service through translation," explained Dale Sturges, national director, Aboriginal Banking, RBC. "We are pleased to be able to continue reaching out to an underserved market by incorporating Cree and Inuktitut into our customer service capabilities. RBC has a long history of building relationships with the Aboriginal community and we remain committed to finding innovative ways to partner with our clients to meet their financial needs."