The road from Rossburn Collegiate to the Waywayseecappo reserve school runs down a hill into a lush valley, it also crosses an invisible jurisdictional line that led to an egregious gap between native and non-native students. Until about 18 months ago, a student in Waywayseecappo received about $7,300 in annual funding from the federal government, while a student at Rossburn Collegiate received about $10,500 from the provincial government. Then one day the disparity disappeared, poof, overnight.
A SMARTPHONE app has been designed specifically for the documentation of an endangered Australian indigenous language.
The Ma! Iwaidja smartphone app has been developed as part of the Minjilang Endangered Languages Publication Project.
The project team, based on Croker Island in remote Northwestern Arnhem Land, worked with Mr Bruce Birch, a linguist from the Australian National University to develop the app.
The app includes a 1500-entry English-Iwaidja dictionary with audio, a 450-entry phrase book, a ''WordMaker'' allowing users to conjugate verbs and construct short phrases, and an information section about Iwaidja and other endangered languages of Arnhem Land.
Mr Birch said the app gives users the ability to record new dictionary or phrase book entries using the on-board recording capability of their phones, so people can customise their app by including, for example, new phrases which are particularly useful to them.
"And with the completion of the next phase of development (which is currently underway) the app will become the world's most user-friendly language documentation tool. With little or no training, users will be able to upload recordings of new dictionary entries and phrases to be moderated and checked for accuracy before being made available for download to all users of the app,'' he said.
This collection of articles appears at an opportune time when issues of development in northern Quebec and Labrador again capture public attention. Twenty-three contributors, each knowledgeable about some aspects of recent developments in this region, deal with issues confronting northern Aboriginal people. The writers include anthropologists, academics from other disciplines, and Aboriginals. Although not primarily a historical work, the book reveals that for several decades the ambitions of provincial and federal governments have clashed with the aspirations of the region’s Aboriginal population. Hydro developments, infrastructure projects, mining, forestry, tourism,and military exercises have shattered the North’s former isolation. While national and international news reporters covered many of the issues that resulted, observers often received the false impression that governments met the concerns of the area’s original inhabitants. The authors leave no doubt that much remains unresolved in this northern region. While various agreements govern development, Aboriginal people feel that they have not received the promised or expected benefits. Social and medical problems have also plagued northern communities. Recently confrontation has characterized the relationship between powerful colonial governments and the once powerless northern people. Aboriginals have learned new methods of registering theirdisagreement with government actions. Yet, the various articles demonstrate that resistance often fails to bring the desired results.Consistently and strongly, this book’s authors rally to support the region’s people in their battles. None attempts to defend the actions of government and industry. Although writing styles vary greatly, ranging from traditional to postmodern, the concise, well-chosen contributions maintain the reader’s interest. Some articles focus on specific regional issues,while others include a helpful larger perspective. Collectively, they make a significant contribution to our understanding of the issues affecting the contemporary North.
Experts often caution against exposing children to too much television. But they could be forgiven for making an exception in one case. Tiga Talk!, the only preschool television series in Canada focused on aboriginal-language, is coming to town. A version with Cree subtitles, to be shown on Friday mornings, began on September 7. And the English version, airing on Saturday mornings, first broadcast on September 8. The series targets children aged 3–5.
Working to reach indigenous Aboriginal youth, as well as other Canadian youth, through comic book literature, the Canadian based Healthy Aboriginal Network is reaching the public with the launch of their latest new comic book, “It Takes a Village,” which outlines how young Canadian indigenous women can keep good health practices and habits during their maternity.
Sean Muir's work covers a range of issues in Aboriginal communities, and the artwork is superb!