Online portal preserves Cree language

  • Mar. 24, 2009 4:00 p.m.

Miyo Wahkohtowin Education Authority will be able to continue to develop its web-based interactive Cree language portal with some help from he Government of Canada.

The Education Authority operates four schools, Kindergarten, Primary, Junior Senior High and Ehpewapahk schools for the Ermineskin Cree Nation. The Education Authority is acclaimed for its advances and uses of technology, academics, cultural and language programming in schools.

The Government of Canada has recently announced funding of $116,000 for the Education Authority to help them continue in their work to create a Cree language portal.

The online portal includes a dictionary and curriculum-based resources. It is available to all First Nation communities and its goal is to help further the development of the Cree language across the country.

“The online Cree portal is an important project dedicated to the preservation and learning of the Cree language and culture,” said Ahmad Jawad, project manager for the Online Cree Dictionary, in a press release. “The success of the project is attributable in large part to the dedication, passion, and collaboration of all partners and, in particular, to the leadership and guidance of the Miyo Education Authority Administration.”

MP for Wetaskiwin, Blaine Calkins was pleased with the continuation of the online Cree language portal and believes it will be a positive thing for the future as well.

“Incorporating 21st century technology into this ambitious project will attract First Nations youth to this important part of their culture and history for the benefit of future generations,” said Calkins.

James Moore, minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, stated his encouragement in a press release.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with an organization that is contributing to the revitalization and promotion of an Aboriginal language,” said Moore. “The important tool being developed will provide people across Canada, particularly young people, with the opportunity to learn the Cree language and, as a result, help ensure that it is preserved.”

The funding is through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, part of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Aboriginal People’s Program.