Google Earth Celebrates Indigenous Languages – Including Cree

United Nations Day of Indigenous Peoples – 9 August 2019 – launched a worldwide tribute to Indigenous Languages through Google Earth and its story-telling tool, Voyager. The project, titled “Celebrating Indigenous Languages” encourages users to “Meet Indigenous Speakers and Learn How they’re Keeping their Languages Alive.” And while you listen to audio examples of each language (including four samples of Cree), you can also play with the mapping tool, zooming in and out to see satellite views of the land in the area each speaker calls home. Just click on the Explore button to begin your tour. 

While the news splash was brief, this beautiful tool, created by Raleigh Seamster and her colleagues at Google Earth Outreach, is built to last and to grow with additional languages and language communities added. Raleigh writes about the project (and gives the Cree Literacy Network a fabulous shout-out) in a post on the Google blog “The Keyword” (thanks, Raleigh!) 

As you tour around the world, be sure to stop and listen for the similarities and differences among four distinct Cree language communities (you can also read along in SRO and syllabics). Thanks to these Cree Literacy Network contributors who made it happen: 

Dolores Sand (y-dialect, Muskeg Lake, Saskatchewan)

Wayne Jackson (northern y-dialect, Goodfish Lake, Alberta)

Minnie McKenzie (th-dialect, LaRonge, Saskatchewan)

Ken Paupanekis (n-dialect, Norway House, Manitoba) 

There were some great news stories, too: 

Rachel Crowspreadingwings reported for City News (Winnipeg):

https://winnipeg.citynews.ca/video/2019/08/10/united-nations-and-google-earth-team-up-to-save-languages/

Peter Akman of CTV National News interviewed UVic anthropologist Brian Thom (an Indigenous Mapping connection). Their video feed shows a cursor clicking on the Cree locations (with the photos just off screen!) 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/new-google-earth-project-aims-to-preserve-indigenous-languages-1.4543852

Rhiannon Johnson of CBC National News interviewed Dolores Sand:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/google-earth-indigenous-languages-1.5240672

 

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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