Children’s book released in eight Indigenous languages
- EFN Staff | June 07, 2018
A new book that is distributed in eight different Indigenous languages was released earlier this week in Regina.
The book, A Tale of a Tail, is the latest in a series of Indigenous language children’s books and teaching tools commissioned by Prince’s Charities Canada (PCC) to support families in learning ancestral languages that are at risk of disappearing. At the book launch, students from two local schools were able to enjoy a story time session read by Lieutenant Governor Thomas W. Molloy, alongside Elder Betty McKenna and author Mike Parkhill.
“The revival of Indigenous culture and language is an important part of Reconciliation,” said Molloy in a media release. “I believe that knowledge leads to understanding and appreciation, and I also believe that Indigenous culture will enrich our lives and make our province and our country better.”
The book, which is focused on important childhood development issues, is published in Woodland Cree, Plains Cree, Swampy Cree, Saulteaux, Dene, Nakota, Lakota, and Dakota and is aimed for elementary school-age children. The books have been distributed through the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre with the support of First Nations University of Canada.
“For many children, these are the only books available to them in their parents’ or grandparents’ language,” said Professor Arok Wolvengrey of First Nations University. “The books are essential literacy tools, in addition to being a way to capture our traditionally oral cultures in written and recorded form.”
This project was undertaken in partnership with SayITFirst, which wrote and illustrated the stories. The initiative was generously supported by the Government of Canada.
“Prince’s Charities Canada is honoured to be supporting Indigenous peoples in the preservation and revitalization of their languages,” said CEO Sharon Broughton. “Language-learning inspires young people and keeps those languages alive, preserving essential knowledge and practices important for all Canadians.”
This project complements the PCC organization’s efforts in revitalizing Indigenous languages targeting a younger audience. These include the recent completion of a project which distributed Inuktitut children’s books to all kindergarten to grade three students in Nunavut, and another for children undergoing medical treatment far from home, at children’s hospitals in Manitoba.