language revitalization

Job – F/T Managing Director & P/T Special Events Coordinator with Kwi Awt Stelmexw. Due: Jan 11, 2017

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Hi all. I’m the founder and programming director for Kwi Awt Stelmexw — an arts & education organization based in Vancouver, BC. We’re a Coast Salish non-profit focused on advancing the cultural identity of the Squamish Peoples.

Kwi Awt Stelmexw is building a team of leaders who can make a difference in the Squamish Peoples’ lives — it’s a big job and we’re looking for super passionate, strategic, and dedicated people to make the dreams a reality.

The Squamish Peoples are rising. After decades of dispossession then neglect, the Squamish Peoples are charting their own path forward. Our fundraising campaigns, our language programs, our arts projects, and everything in between is for the betterment of the Squamish Peoples.

At Kwi Awt Stelmexw, you’ll work with a team of engaged, hard-working, and passionate colleagues showing the community and the world what is possible for advancing the cultural identity of the Squamish Peoples, in a flexible, collaborative, and dream-seeking environment. We are hiring for:
F/T Managing Director (6 month contract with potential to renew)
P/T Special Events Coordinator (6 month contract with potential to renew)
Learn more here: https://www.kwiawtstelmexw.com/about/hiring/
The Managing Director is really about finding an operations/manager person to work with me in building this emerging organization. There are very few Coast Salish-run and Coast Salish-focused non-profits in Vancouver and we’re looking to grow our team to support our work. If you could pass this along to help us spread the word, we’d be super grateful. Deadline to apply is Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 at 5pm.

Please feel free to message me if you or anyone you know is interested in learning more.

Thanks!
___________________

Khelsilem
Programming Director
Kwi Awt Stelmexw
PO Box 57145 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C., V5K 5G6
c: 604-809-6282 | m: 778-987-8809

Behind Alex Cuba’s Canada Day performance in Wit’suwet’in

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‘I’m digging into the roots of my adopted land,’ says Cuban-Canadian songwriter

By Andrew Kurjata, CBC News Posted: Jul 01, 2016 7:00 AM PT Last Updated: Jul 01, 2016 7:00 AM PT

Cuban-Canadian singer Alex Cuba had the lyrics of one of his songs translated into the Wit'suwet'in language for a Canada Day performance on Parliament Hill.

Cuban-Canadian singer Alex Cuba had the lyrics of one of his songs translated into the Wit’suwet’in language for a Canada Day performance on Parliament Hill. (Alex Cuba photo: Paul Darrow/Reuters; Lyrics photo: Alex Cuba/Facebook)

When Cuban-born singer Alex Cuba takes the national stage for a performance on Parliament Hill this Canada Day, he’ll be showcasing the language of his adopted home — and it isn’t English or French.

Instead, the Juno and Grammy-award winning artist will be performing a verse from his song Directo in Wit’suwet’in, an Athabaskan language spoken by First Nations in northwest British Columbia.

Cuba says the performance is his way of paying tribute to his adopted home, the small town of Smithers in northern B.C.

“I have roots in that part of Canada now,” he said. “I made Smithers my home for over 13 years now, and my kids, they are growing in Smithers.”

“I’m basically digging into the roots of my adopted land.”

From Spanish to English to Wit’suwet’in

Ron Austin

Northwest coast artist Ron Austin (T’sek’ot) translated lyrics from English to Wit’suwet’in. (Northwest Community College)

The lyrics were translated by Ron Austin (T’sek’ot), an artist and hereditary chief living in nearby Moricetown.

First, Cuba had to translate the words from Spanish to English. Then, Austin got to work adapting them to Wit’suwet’in.

“I had to search for some words like ‘hopelessness,’ because in our language it’s said almost like a sentence,” the chief said. The closest he could come was the phrase, “My heart is in confusion.”

“It’s a more expressive language.”

Endangered language takes national stage

It was during this collaboration that Cuba discovered the deeper significance of the project.

Alex Cuba Director lyrics in Wit'suwet'in

The lyrics of Alex Cuba’s song ‘Directo’ translated into Wit’suwet’in, along with handwritten notes. (Alex Cuba/Facebook)

There are only a few fluent Wit’suwet’in speakers left: somewhere between 70 and 200.

Austin says when he was growing up, children spoke nothing but Wit’suwet’in. That changed when he was sent to a Catholic day school.

“We were not allowed to practice our language and not allowed to speak any native language without being disciplined. Now you see our children around the village, all they do is speak English.”

Cuba says hearing this reaffirmed his commitment to learning the verse.

“It became more clear to me, what if I can do this on national television? … I am honoured to be able to do my little bit to help save this language.”

Read More…

CORRECTION: Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS) in Billings, Montana, June 16-18, 2016

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The 23rd Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (SILS) will be held in Billings, Montana on June 6 & 7, 2016.

The conference web site is at http://sils2016.com/ and on-line registration is available.

 

Daryl Baldwin: toopeeliyankwi, kati myaamiaataweeyankwi: We Succeed At Speaking The Myaamia Language. 11:30am-1pm, Feb 22, 2016

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Abstract

The Myaamia language was labeled an extinct language by the mid 20th century. After 25 years of reconstruction and revitalization, the Myaamia language is spoken once again among a younger generation of tribal youth who are using language learning opportunities to reconnect to each other and their Indigenous knowledge system. It is through the creation of a holistic well-designed educational effort that cultural knowledge and language proficiency will increase over time. This talk will explore the strategies employed by the Myaamia community in their attempts to rebuild community through language and cultural education.

Daryl Baldwin, Director, Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Daryl Baldwin is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The Myaamia Center is a unique collaborative effort supported by the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for the purpose of advancing the language and cultural needs of the Myaamia people. Daryl received an MA in linguistics from the University of Montana. He has worked with the Myaamia people developing language and cultural materials since 1995. For an update on the projects currently under development through the Myaamia Center please visit the web site at www.myaamiacenter.org.

Location & Timing

11:30-1:00pm, Monday, February 22, 2016
Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall, First Nations Longhouse
1985 West Mall

Baldwin’s lecture will begin at 11:30am. A free catered lunch will follow his talk at 1pm. The lecture will be held in the Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall at the First Nations Longhouse, 1985 West Mall.

For the event poster, click here.