Dene Languages Apps

Mar 28 2012

YELLOWKNIFE (March 28, 2012) – The first Dene languages apps for iPhones and similar devices will be available for free download on the iTunes store in late April.

“I am very pleased to be announcing the launch of this important tool,” said Jackson Lafferty, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.  “We must ensure that our languages are preserved and revitalized for generations to come.  Engaging our youth in learning their traditional languages through this new technology is a progressive and encouraging step.”

In early 2011, the Department of Education, Culture and Employment partnered with the Yamozha Kue Society to develop the Dene Language Media applications for the five Dene languages.  There were several other groups involved, including the Tlicho Community Services Agency, the Goyatiko Language Society, the Gwich’in Teaching and Learning Centre, the Dehcho Divisional Education Council Teaching and Learning Centre, the Sahtu Divisional Education Council Teaching and Learning Centre, and Paul William Kaeser High School.

“We are so pleased to see the results of such commitment from so many invested groups,” said Raymond Sonfrere, Executive Director of the Yamozha Kue Society. “We try to work closely with the Dene languages communities with all of our projects, including the development of these tools, and we feel that the digital delivery method of making these available through an interactive app will help us engage our youth and family audiences.”

The five Dene languages available in these apps are Tlicho, North Slavey, South Slavey, Gwich’in and Chipewyan.  The apps are available for the touch-screen technology platforms and have language learning components, games and quizzes.  Categories include family, actions, commands, food, animals, trapping and hunting.  The next language apps to be developed will be in Cree, Inuvialuktun and Inuinnaqtun.

Please see the attached backgrounder for more details.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Jacqueline McKinnon
Manager, Public Affairs
Education, Culture and Employment
Phone: (867) 920-6222
Email: Jacqueline_McKinnon@gov.nt.ca