Prince’s Trust Canada has partnered with Indigenous organizations including First Nations University and the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre to produce and publish children’s books written in several languages including Southern Tutchone, Cree (Plains, Swampy, Woods), Saulteaux, Dene, Nakota, Lakota, Dakota, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree and Inuktitut. An accompanying app was created to allow children to follow along while listening to a native speaker narrate the stories. The books and app have been widely distributed to libraries and schools and given to students from kindergarten to grade three.
This project is a continuation from an earlier initiative where Prince’s Trust Canada created a content sharing partnership between SayItFirst, a publisher of traditional Indigenous language content for children and One Laptop per Child Canada (OLPC).
As part of this partnership, digital books written in Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Ojibwe and Cree were made available to 15,000 Indigenous youth through laptops and e-readers provided by OLPC. The content was placed on community servers to make downloading easy in areas without high-speed internet. All new content produced is added to those servers through our ongoing relationship with OLPC.
The books were written in the traditional language (regular script and phonetics) as well as English and targeted to children ages 3-8, the age most likely to acquire language.
A special thanks to the Government of Canada, First Nations University of Canada and SayItFirst for their support.
First Nations University project brings Cree children’s books to Sask.
CBC News, March 2017
Prince William and Kate to deliver book written in rare native tongue to indigenous children
Toronto Star, September 2016
Revival of endangered aboriginal language empowers speakers in Yukon
The Globe and Mail, October 2016