Social Media Roundup: Indigenous Language Projects and Developments

By Laurie Dolhan -

As our team prepares to launch our newest product, Cultural Codex, we are continually inspired by and learning from community-based projects with big social impact around the world. As we discover interesting articles and videos, we often share them on our Twitter profiles (@DadavanSystems, @CulturalCodex) and Facebook page. For those who are not already following along (and for the sake of convenience of those who are), we have curated and shared a short list of a few recent favourites about language research and projects around the world. If you have any stories of your own to share, please pass them along!

Indigenous elders keep traditional songs about life on Wave Hill station alive with new generation

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Elders sing Wajarra, Supplied: Brenda Croft http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-30/elders-sing-wajarra/7278350

An Indigenous language project is trying to keep alive traditional songs and ceremonies performed half a century ago, during one of the defining periods of the land rights movement.

Elders Ronnie Wavehill Wirrpnga and Topsy Dodd Ngarnjal from the remote community of Kalkarindji, almost 800 kilometres south of Darwin, learnt the songs as children on Wave Hill cattle station. Click here to continue reading…

Languages are dying too fast

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When 89-year-old Alban Michael died last month, something else died with him. The Vancouver Island man was believed to be the last fluent speaker of Nuchatlaht, one of the West Coast aboriginal languages. Click here to continue reading…

How a Country’s Land Shapes Its Language

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Illustration by Robin Davey (@ThatRobinDavey) http://nautil.us/blog/how-a-countrys-land-shapes-its-language?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

To Hawaiian speakers, vowels reign supreme. Only eight consonants exist in the language’s 13-letter alphabet, so most of its meaning is derived from oohs and aahs, ohs and eehs. One might say Hawaiian sounds a lot like the sea that surrounds it; the bulk of its words are simple and spare, flowing smoothly from vowel to vowel. Mahalo. Click here to continue reading…

Indigenous languages go under the microscope

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Janine Metallic says something magical happens when she hears the Mi’gmaq language spoken.

She may live in Montreal now, about 800 kilometres upriver from her home in the Listuguj First Nation on the Gaspé Peninsula, but the words carry her to that distant place. Click here to continue reading…

‘The root of who we are’: How to save the Inuttitut language

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/inuttitut-language-save-white-1.3539817

“If I had the opportunity growing up to learn my native tongue, my grandmother’s native tongue, my goodness, I’m sure my mother would have jumped at that opportunity,” he said.  Click here to continue reading…

In Australia, Learning the Gumbaynggir Language Three Minutes at a Time

The Gumbaynggirr language is traditionally spoken in the northern coastal region of the state of Australia now known as New South Wales (NSW).

People across the region can hear the language, simply by tuning into ABC’s Coffs Coast morning radio show. Each Wednesday, Gary Williams, a Gumbaynggirr language teacher at the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative, a regional language centre working to support the languages of seven Aboriginal communities in NSW, teaches words and phrases to listeners and to the show’s presenter Fiona Poole. The 3-minute segment airs at 7:30 am after the news broadcast. Click here to continue reading…

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