Regina podcast aims to revitalize Indigenous languages

People can learn different Indigenous languages through a recently launched podcast called pîkiskwêwin which means ‘language’ in Cree.

The Indigenous Communication Arts (INCA) program, at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) has worked on the pîkiskwêwin project, which is an Indigenous and community-led initiative to preserve, protect and interpret the history, language, culture, and artistic heritage of First Nations. The pîkiskwêwin’s family of podcasts are produced in Indigenous languages.

Read more: Indigenous language preservation: ‘We’re fighting against a clock’

“We have joined an amazing circle of language teachers and language keepers,” said Shannon Avison, project supervisor and FNUniv INCA Assistant Professor, in a media release. “For most of them, podcasting is a new format to use. Some of our podcasters are fluent but some pîkiskwêwin podcasters are language learners. It’s so exciting to give them training and technology to do interviews in their ancestral languages for the first time.”

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The project is funded through Heritage Canada on a $600,000 grant for two years. The podcast team ran their first episodes in January 2022. Podcasters who participate in the project are Knowledge Keepers, language teachers, and students. Three episodes are released every week and funding for the project will continue until March 2023.

Read more: Film features 11-year-old Saskatchewan girl teaching the Nakota language in 10 days

“It’s really about the revitalization of Indigenous languages and taking back (our) language,” said Felicia Dewar, the project director of marketing and design. “We’re hoping by creating it into a conversational podcast, people will tune in and start to learn words, phrases and become more comfortable with speaking. We will create generations of new fluent speakers. That is our hope and mandate.”

People can listen to the podcasts at pikiskwewin.ca and is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Spotify, and the Michif cooking show, Mawmaw Sachweezin, is also available on YouTube.

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Indigenous language preservation: ‘We’re fighting against a clock’ – Mar 31, 2022

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