Teaching Traditional Language Through Technology
As technology changes, so has the way we can preserve our traditional Indigenous languages. In 2016, we proudly launched a Cree language app for smart phones. The priority of the app is preserving the language and culture of the Cree people within our membership. It is a way for youth especially, to have easy access to the language. A tool to explore and study Cree.
The uniqueness of this Cree app is that it is in the dialect specific to First Nations within this region. The app teaches common words that learners can use daily when speaking with Elders or others in the community. Important nouns and words for medicine, numbers and directions create a foundation for communication and the beginnings of language preservation.
This is an exciting milestone for Cree speakers and learners, and we are actively working on a similar app in Dene to be released in 2018, along with updates to the Cree version.
Boarding Home Program Provides Learning Opportunities for Youth
Some students in rural communities choose to do their high school education in Fort McMurray. Our Boarding Home program provides a home-away-from-home to the students who prefer to live and attend school outside of their home community.
This year, we had 22 youth in our program. Each year, the average is between 16 and 22 students.
Once a month we host a lunch for our boarding home students, with between 12 and 18 students from two different schools in attendance. During this time together, we enjoy a meal and listen to a guest speaker share their story with us. We discuss the work they do and the requirements they have to get their position. Often students are curious about the fundamental skills employers are looking for. This discussion allows the youth to ask questions; learning about fields of work they are interested in or maybe didn’t know very much about.
Being away from home presents challenges for these young adults. We strive to provide the support they need to excel in their academics, learn helpful social skills, and be a source for support. Even with this, some students face academic and social barriers. When this happens, some students decide to return home and continue their education in their home community. We continue to build this program and create a positive experience for youth.
If you are interested in this program or would like to billet a student, please contact Charles Nokohoo at 780-791-6538 extension 243.