An article in the Huffington Post (Canada) led me to investigate the Speak Mohawk app for Apple iPads and iPhones. The Six Nations Polytechnic launched the app to further protect and teach a language that is in danger of being lost. Statistics are showing about 2,350 people in Ontario and Quebec knowing the language. Speak Mohawk has broken down words and phrases into 42 categories including “Days of the Week” and “Feelings” for easy access.
Now I realize Mohawk would not be a language that would be picked up in Alberta to any large degree but by accessing the information about Speak Mohawk, it led me to a app developer called Thornton Media, Inc. that designs a variety of indigenous language apps.
The Tsuut’ina people, who live west of Calgary, have also developed an app to preserve their language and this one may be of more interest. Teachers may have students in their classrooms who are learning the Tsuut’ina language at home.
This app would be a great way to have students in your classroom learn more about the root language and culture. It is a free app that can be added to iPads or other tablets easily and referenced by students from this culture and other interested students.
It seems that young people in schools and post-secondary settings are expressing an interest in keeping these languages alive and finding a digital way to preserve the language and culture from these communities. It is a good start.