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One indigenous group discovers the power of tech

LatinaLista — The Tahltan Language Conservation Initiative Project (Hereon TLCIP) is a grassroots conservation effort that will focus on the preservation of the severely endangered Tahltan Language.

There are only 16 fluent native Tahltan speakers alive today and all but two are over the age of seventy. TLCIP will work with the remaining speakers in an effort to digitally archive the language in both audio and printed formats.

The Tahltan language is at risk of extinction within the next few years unless vigorous preservation measures are taken.

The Tahltan Language Conservation Initiative Project is seeking to raise $35,000 to work on the preservation of the Tahltan Language. The net proceeds from this campaign will enable them to expand their conservation efforts/research in the Tahltan Communities and allow them to archive the language and develop digital resource material for the children and young people.

The project will purchase digital recording devices, computers, cameras, digital miscellaneous items (external drives, discs etc.), and pay researchers and a technical team to continue working on the conservation of the Endangered Language.

Language is an essential component in the development of identity and ethnicity, but many Tahltan Children do not have access to the Tahltan language and/or access to Tahltan literature in a medium they can relate to in today’s digital world.

The first 11 years of a child’s life are the most important for language development, but there are no language literature resources available for the children.

TLCIP will use modern technology to preserve the language and in the process develop a digital interactive resource(s) for the iPod, iPhone and iPad that would enable the Tahltan children and youth to attain the most essential of life experiences – the magic and blessing of speaking their Indigenous language.

So far, work has been done by team leader Oscar Dennis who has studied the Tahitian Language in the Tahitian community of Iskut, British Columbia Canada with his father James Dennis for five years. James is one of the last fluent native speakers left in the Tahltan Nation. The result of the study was a Masters Degree in First Nations Studies with a focus on the pedagogical structure of the Tahltan language.

Oscar Dennis now speaks the Tahltan language and is the technical developer of the interactive digital iBook demonstrated in the video below.

During the five years Oscar Dennis has developed an interactive website dedicated to teaching the Tahitian Language.

There is also a Facebook Page dedicated to teaching the language through social media.

Campaign: Tahitian Language Conservation Initiative Project

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