Hold on, good things ahead..

First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) releases new video entitled “Victory Song” chronicling recent work on the Language Revitalization Pole

“This great cedar is about 800 years old; before this town even existed. But when this was a seedling, our creator knows the destinies of everything that exists on this earth, and he knew what this was going to be for, way before it even started growing.”

– Harry Lucas, Nuu-chah-nulth language-speaker and Elder –


April 18, 2019, Vancouver, B.C.
– The First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) has released a new 5-minute online video that chronicles recent preparation work being done by the carving team in Port Alberni on the 800-year-old cedar log selected for the FNEF Language Revitalization Pole. This new video, entitled “Victory Song,” is the second in a series of videos being produced by filmmaker Dale Devost to document the carving of the pole. The new video, along with several other videos, can be accessed on the videos page of the FNEF website: https://fnef.ca/videos/.

In addition to master carver Tim Paul, who leads up the pole carving project, the new video also features Harry Lucas, a Nuu-chah-nulth language-speaker and Elder. In the video, Lucas speaks eloquently about the significance of the cedar tree Tim Paul selected for the pole – first in Nuu-chah-nulth and then in English. As Lucas states in the video: “This great cedar is about 800 years old; before this town [Port Alberni] even existed. But when this was a seedling [pointing to the cedar log], our creator knows the destinies of everything that exists on this earth, and he knew what this was going to be for, way before it even started growing.”

In a previous FNEF video, Tim Paul spoke passionately about the significance of the tree selected for the pole and talked about what the tree represents for Truth and Reconciliation: “It’s holding something of importance; the language, the key to who we are and how we are able to be the ones that survived to bring things forward. To share and be in amongst our neighbours. To give us goodwill, to give us something like this.”

Future videos will be made available periodically throughout the pole carving process.

The FNEF Language Revitalization Pole was commissioned to celebrate the United Nations’ 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages. The video footage being captured by filmmaker Dale Devost will later be used in full in education tool kits for distribution to the 11,000 UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) in over 180 countries and as content for language lessons on the FNEF platform.

For additional background information on the FNEF Language Revitalization Pole project, please see the links below to online resources.

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Media Contact:

Scott Jeary
c. 604-340-5170
e. [email protected]

Online resources:

·     BACKGROUNDER – FNEF and Language Revitalisation Pole

·     FNEF – Language Revitalization Pole rendering for UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages 2019 – 8×11

·     Draft – Tim Paul – original drawing – Language Pole

·     International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL 2019) Events

·     FNEF and Six Factor announce new Indigenous language app: secure, instantly available, and customizable

Issue of language revitalization should not be reduced to a question of money

The following opinion-editorial by FNEF Executive Director Scott Jeary was printed in the Waterloo Region Record

 

Issue of language revitalization should not be reduced to a question of money

Language revitalization work is not the simple expiation of white guilt, Scott Jeary writes.

OPINION Mar 03, 2019 by Scott Jeary – Waterloo Region Record

In Peter Shawn Taylor’s column on Indigenous languages (Speaking out about language death — Feb. 28), he concludes that money should be spent efficiently in language revitalization work, which we feel most Canadians would agree with. However, writing on behalf of the First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF), I would say those opinions seem surrounded by the overall feeling or tone that language revitalization is a waste of time and that there is no justification for engaging in the process, which is why we decided to write. (more…)

First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) posts Online Video Documenting Language Revitalization Pole Naming Ceremony

February 13, 2019, Vancouver, B.C. – The First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) has released a short online video – the first in a series of videos that will document the carving of a 70-foot Language Revitalization Pole. The pole was commissioned to celebrate the United Nations’ 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages and is to be carved by renowned Nuu-chah-nulth carver Tim Paul – part of the Hesquiaht Tribe of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations.

The 4-minute online video posted by FNEF – which can be accessed here – documents the recent Pole Naming Ceremony that took place on January 23rd in the territory of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. The project team, led by carver Tim Paul, selected an 800-year old red cedar tree that fell naturally during a windstorm sometime during the past 50 to 70 years. An additional video clip is also available on the FNEF videos page showing the end cut being bucked off the massive log. (more…)

First Nations Education Foundation announces the commissioning of a Language Revitalization Pole to be carved in recognition of the UN 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

January 28, 2019, Vancouver, B.C. – In recognition of the UN 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, which officially launched earlier today in Paris, the First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) has announced the commissioning of a Language Revitalization Pole to draw attention to the importance of Indigenous language and culture in Canada. The Language Revitalization Pole will be carved by renowned Nuu-chah-nulth carver Tim Paul – part of the Hesquiaht Tribe of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations – and has received the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. (more…)

FNEF and Six Factor announce new Indigenous language app: secure, instantly available, and customizable

We have some great news to report about the work we’ve been doing over the past several months with Six Factor, our FNEF technology partner. Six Factor is western Canada’s Leading Google Cloud Partner, and together we are ready to field test the first generation of our FNEF Indigenous language app for smartphone, tablet, and desktop learning.

There are some key differences between our FNEF language app – which was built from the ground up to be secure and instantly available on a global level – and other language apps currently being used to curate and revitalize at-risk First Nations languages. For example, it has a “record and compare” feature that provides learners with a visual reference whereby the sound wave produced by their pronunciation of a word or words can be directly compared to the sound wave produced by a fluent speaker for enhanced pronunciation accuracy. (more…)

It’s 2018: Let’s not let the gift of Indigenous languages slip through our hands

As the new year of 2018 begins, it’s worth noting from the start that we continue to face a stark, ongoing reality: No Indigenous language in Canada is considered safe. This is the reality that drives our work and our FNEF language revitalization approach; namely, to develop language revitalization programs for at-risk Indigenous languages and dialects using contemporary educational practices and innovative, interactive technology. (more…)

Canada’s Residential School Story Launches on Google Earth Voyager

Google Earth recently made a wonderful new learning tool available to the public; one that helps tell the story of Canada’s residential schools and the devastating impacts the schools had on Indigenous people.

The new tool is part of Google Earth’s Voyager series and it takes full advantage of the powerful storytelling functionality Voyager brings to Google Earth’s popular mapping service. The result is a much needed primer on residential schools for elementary and secondary school students; told through a unique geographic lens. (more…)

Why Indigenous languages should be taught alongside French and English

“Without immediate, robust, and heartfelt intervention, language decline will be irreversible.”

– Chelsea Vowel / âpihtawikosisân –

If you haven’t read Métis author Chelsea Vowel’s recent article, which argues for the teaching of Indigenous languages alongside French and English (the article was posted on the Maclean’s website last week), we highly recommend it. Vowel, who is also known as âpihtawikosisân, is someone who has fought hard to access and reclaim her Cree language, and she articulates the case for Indigenous language preservation and revitalization compellingly and with great passion. (more…)

Concerns expressed over drop in use of Aboriginal languages in N.W.T.

An online CBC news item caught our eye yesterday morning. The CBC article noted that the use of Aboriginal languages is on the decline in the Northwest Territories, bucking an optimistic national trend that some feel is apparent.

The article indicates that there was a 15 per cent decline in the number of people in the North West Territories “who primarily speak an Aboriginal language at home, as well as the number of people who consider one of these languages their mother tongue.” This is definitely concerning. (more…)