Another meeting in Edmonton

Forwarded by Caylie Gnyra, of Little Cree Books, who organized a second meeting of Edmonton-area Cree speakers, teachers and students to discuss development of materials on Wednesday 6 March 2013. Looking forward to working with this crew, and getting some projects out there.

Of course, the group is open to anybody who has dream projects for Cree: there’s so much more we can do by supporting one another!

Here are the notes from the meeting Les Skinner, Chelsea Vowel, Dorothy Thunder, Daniel Nikpayuk, and I attended at the U of A yesterday afternoon. A big thanks to all of you for showing up!

For the most part, we discussed our own current projects, our dream projects and directions related to Cree language education, and the skills we have to offer for use within these projects. At some point, it would be nice to (a) develop a bit more of a strategic direction, so that we can move together cohesively without reinventing the wheel, and provide potential volunteers with specific tasks to accomplish and potential funders with specific projects and outcomes that we envision; and (b) determine whether we, and other Cree language enthusiasts, would like to form some sort of group (either within the umbrella of the Cree Literacy Network, or apart from it, depending on the advantages and disadvantages of each option – and would it include speakers of distant dialects, like James Bay Cree?) so that we could be eligible for funding (IF we think we want funding!), and how those funds would be administered; and (c) how that organization would be governed and administer funds.

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, a not-for-profit-in-the-making with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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One Response to Another meeting in Edmonton

  1. Eric says:

    I was recently learning about aboriginal languages in Canada and came across this site. Out of curiosity, have there ever been efforts to standardize the Cree language for educational purposes to foster better communication among Cree-speaking peoples and to promote more widespread use of the language? It seems to me (as a person who does not speak an aboriginal language) that this would do wonders to ensure Cree’s viability. A lot is lost if an Innu speaker and a Plains speaker must resort to English because they can’t understand each other’s Cree. I would add that if there was such a thing as a “Modern Standard Cree” taught in schools on reserves across the country, many more non-aboriginals might be keen to study it – no longer just for personal interest, but because it would also have greater practical value over a wide area. It would also make it easier to produce TV and Radio shows to be enjoyed right across the country…

    Anyway, I was just curious if there was a movement for this – I also understand that different nations hope to retain their unique dialects, so such a project would obviously encounter a lot of resistance. In general, European languages all went through “standardization” periods in the last few centuries, which ironed out a lot of dialects, but strengthened the languages as a whole by allowing everyone to communicate in a single tongue.

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