Swampy Cree app aims to help people reconnect with Indigenous language

A Manitoba man who was inspired to reconnect with his heritage and native language has created an app in the hopes of encouraging others to share in the love of learning the Swampy Cree language.

Cameron Adams was inspired to create the app, called nēhinawēwin — a Cree dialect spoken mostly in northern Manitoba — after taking a class at the University of Winnipeg.

He wanted to learn more, so he decided to create the app which officially launched Friday.

The university kicked in roughly $15,000 to help fund translators who are fluent in the language. 

Nēhinawēwin is now available for Apple devices at no charge. Adams said making the app available to everyone was intentional.

“Indigenous languages were essentially stolen from children in residential schools. That’s the history and the legacy of Canada. And when you have a language resource free, then it makes it more accessible so that those can learn,” he said.

The nēhinawēwin Swampy Cree language app is geared toward those wanting to reconnect with the language, as well as those who want to teach others. (nēhinawēwin/Apple Store)

Adams hopes the app will help people reconnect with their roots and keep the language alive, whether they’re teaching others or just themselves.

“It’s good for both sides. It’s good for self instruction, but also for those who are teaching to use the resource,” he said.

“It’s just about engaging people. And you know, if that’s the spark that makes them want to learn their language for their lifetime … Or if it’s the thing that connects them to their grandmother, that’s a win, right?”

Although the app has already launched, Adams has plans to make it more robust and engaging for users.

He wants to include in-app games and more pictures. As an example, he said the section on animals could have pictures of the animals along with the Swampy Cree words and pronunciations.

“What does a mink look like? Your guess is as good as mine, right? I want to have the pictures and maybe some games, like flashcard games,” he said.

“You can do endless thing with apps.”

View original article here Source