February 26, 2011

Sewing and speaking Meskwaki

Meskwaki Tribe Receives Grant for Sewing and Language Project

By Maria ScandaleInfluences of the modern world linger outside, but for two hours twice a week, mothers and girls are sitting with elder women in the Meskwaki Senior Center sewing traditional clothing and learning the Meskwaki language.

The Meskwaki Sewing Project has been recognized by the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities as worthy of supporting with a mini-grant.

February 18, 2011

Creek language in Challenge Bowl

Creek Nation adds language round to Challenge Bowl

By Lenzy Krehbiel-BurtonThe rooms at Trinity Baptist Church were filled with students Thursday testing their knowledge of Muscogee (Creek) Nation history, culture, current events and language at the 11th annual tribe-sponsored Challenge Bowl.

Similar to traditional academic bowl competitions, teams answer toss-up questions by ringing in on a buzzer system.

But this year, the Creek Nation's office that oversees kindergarten through 12th-grade tribal programming added a language round in which questions are asked in English and teams must answer in Creek to receive the points.

Individual students are limited in the number of times per match they can answer.
Below:  "Okemah Elementary School fifth-graders Kintv Deere (left) and NaTaiya Wilson, both 11, listen to instructions Thursday during a Challenge Bowl sponsored by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The number on Kintv's shirt is in honor of Martha Berryhill, the oldest Creek Nation tribal member, who died recently. The number was Berryhill's number on the Dawes Rolls." (Mike Simons/Tulsa World)

February 09, 2011

Inuit Language Week

Use It or Lose It:  Inuit Language Week in Full SwingThey were kicking off Inuit Language Week, or Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq, which goes from February 7–11 and includes a host of activities throughout the territory.

It’s an attempt to reverse a decline in the use of the Inuit language in Nunavut homes, the territory’s press release said. Over the past 10 years it has dropped from 60 percent to 53 percent, prompting the languages minister and commissioner to challenge Nunavummiut “to reverse this trend, not only during Uqausirmut Quviasuutiqarniq but everyday,” the press release said.

Various activities are promoting the use of the language, including an Inuit Language Standardization Symposium from February 8–11 hosted by the Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit (Inuit Language Authority) in Iqaluit. In addition, schools have received packages outlining Inuit Language activities, and a set of language posters is being launched. There’s also a contest for Nunavut government employees to submit an Inuktitut Word of the Day and win prizes.

February 05, 2011

Inuit views in Inuktitut film

Film shows Inuit views on climate change

By Mychaylo PrystupaWhile most academics publish research papers, geography professor Ian Mauro has taken a different tack--making documentary films.

Mauro's latest research project, titled Qapirangajuq--Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change is the world's first documentary on climate change as told by Inuit in their language.

Mauro is pioneering what he calls "video research"--using filmmaking techniques to find and publish scientific discoveries.

"We made a film and people are telling their own perspectives, and their own stories, and that really inverses the dominant way of doing research," Mauro said Thursday.
Below:  "Ian Mauro (left) and Zacharias Kunuk spent months in Nunavut communities to film Qapirangajuq--Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change." (Ian Mauro)