Listuguj Visit

Hi! I’m writing to introduce myself. My name is Carolyn Anderson, and I’m a visiting student at McGill this semester. While I’m here, I’m hoping to work on some Mi’gmaq materials, as well as starting to learn the language myself.

Listuguj looking beautiful in the snow

Listuguj looking beautiful in the snow

I’m a linguistics student, but I’m also interested in technology (which is why I’m excited about this blog!). I spent last semester at University of Victoria, learning about technology projects for different indigenous languages in British Columbia.

Some highlights of my semester were getting a sneak peek at a Nxa’amxcin online dictionary that is under development, hearing about the FirstVoices online language archiving and lessons program, and attending the release party for the 2014 Report on the Status of B.C. Languages.

During my semester in B.C., I was also conducting interviews with language activists and linguists about their experiences using technology for language revitalization, something I hope to continue here on the East Coast too.

I arrived in Montreal around New Years, and the weather was quite a shock. I’m a West Coast girl (I grew up in Tacoma, WA). I considered never ever leaving my apartment again, but then Carol-Rose Little offered to take me to Listuguj with her, so I packed up all my coats and mittens and tagged along.

Me shocked by how snow it was.

Me shocked by how snow it was.

I had a wonderful time in Listuguj, and I hope I can visit again soon. I had the chance to sit in on some recording sessions for the online Mi’gmaq dictionary, which was wonderful. It was fun watching Joe and Eunice come up with new example sentences for the words.

Dinner with Language Workers from the Education Directorate

Dinner with Language Workers from the Education Directorate

I know that language revitalization is slow and often difficult work. But in my travels across Canada this year, I’ve been seeing small victories everywhere. Whether it’s new videos being posted in the Indigenous Language Challenge Facebook group, preschoolers giggling in Mi’gmaq in the hallways of the Education Directorate in Listuguj, or young people rapping in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ on the West Coast, there are indigenous language revitalization projects to celebrate all over the country.

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Carolyn Jane

About Carolyn Jane

Carolyn Anderson is a Fulbright fellow researching language revitalization and technology. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Linguistics and a minor in Computer Science in 2014. She is currently a visiting student at McGill University.

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