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How A Chance Meeting Launched a Community Campaign in Revitalization

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Title: How A Chance Meeting Launched a Community Campaign in Revitalization
Authors: Lim, Nicole
McKenny, Daryn
Issue Date: 03 Mar 2017
Description: In 2013, two strangers stepped out of a workshop at the ICLDC conference in Oahu, HI to discuss common interests. It soon became evident that their indigenous communities shared common issues in language revitalization. Little did they know, their chance meeting would lead them down a path of intercontinental partnership and collaboration. Since that time CIMCC has been working with the MALTC to develop digital language revitalization tools for tribes in northern California. The Shoh yehaelim: Pomo’s Happening Now project launched with the intent to reach 70% of the tribal community, who identified themselves as non-learners. CIMCC found itself at a cross roads. How would they deliver affordable language learning tools to a community challenged by distance and time? With MALTC’s software training and technical support, CIMCC engaged their Tribal Youth Ambassadors (Youth ages 11-18) and community members in creating content to support the creation digital resources for diverse audiences. MALTC produced six apps delivering content for multiple dialects and languages. The apps include: Bahtssal (Eastern Pomo), Southern Pomo, Northern Pomo, Central Pomo, Kanwin Tamal Words, and Kanwin Tamal Phrases. Additionally, CIMCC produced a Bahtssal introductory class through its Moodle online classroom. Survey feedback has indicated that 94% of the app users characterize their status as “active learners,” and 85% of the online course participants label their status as a learner or intermediate learner. CIMCC launched a “Save it, Share it” contest asking community members to contribute best practices for using the new digital tools. Many members shared ideas for using language in the home, challenging others on social media, and integrating resources into children’s school programs. The Tribal Youth Ambassadors enhanced these efforts by producing tools to raise public awareness and engagement. They produced the Indigenous Play for Active Lives (IPAL) kiosk, a language promotional video and an app tutorial video. Assuming a leadership role for implementing strategies for language revitalization in their community the youth have been recognized by the President’s Committee as a 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Finalist.
Appears in Collections:5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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