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From Archives to Augmented Realities: Feeling, Seeing, and Hearing the Language on Screen

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Title:From Archives to Augmented Realities: Feeling, Seeing, and Hearing the Language on Screen
Authors:Lacho, David
Leon, Aaron
Contributors:Lacho, David (speaker)
Leon, Aaron (speaker)
Date Issued:03 Mar 2017
Description:In this paper, we will describe how community members of the Splatsin First Nation near Enderby, British Columbia, Canada are embracing emerging digital forms of documentation, conservation, and dissemination of their Eastern dialect of the Secwepemctsín language. Many Indigenous groups are challenging overarching globalization theories and are calling for the importance of context in describing processes of globalization (Hall & Fenelon 2009). Despite the negative effects of globalization on language stability and endangerment, the Splatsin First Nation’s language revitalization practices are thriving. This is contributing to an overall sense of wellbeing due to, in part, the use of digital media. The Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Centre) Society is building a digital archive of their Secwepemctsín dialect. Working with the Kikia7a (grandmothers) of Splatsin, members of the Tsm7aksaltn are contributing to, and learning, the language using digital tools for documentation and conservation. The archive serves as a resource for constructing corpus for language revitalization. In building the archive, the Kikia7a correct and revise previous documentation, such as a word list collected by Kuipers (1975). Entries to the archive also involve recorded performances of daily activities including play, cooking, and exploring the Splatsin territory. The videos, once edited, are uploaded online on the Tsm7aksaltn Society’s website and on YouTube. Such videos in other communities are known to contribute to the wellbeing of community members, and of language revitalization practices (Bagelman et al. 2016; Corntassel & Bryce, 2012). While the Kikia7a contribute their invaluable time, voices, and knowledge to the digitization projects, other community members are contributing their time and resources by editing and publishing the digital media. In this sense, new forms of sociality are emerging within the community due to the production, circulation, and consumption of digital language media (Eisenlohr 2004; Pink et al. 2016). Drawing on Tsm7aksaltn’s digitization of Secwepemctsín, members are turning to creative ways of disseminating the language. One such project involves the development of a video game for learning Secwepemctsín. Another project involves the installation of QR codes around the territory so that language learners can use mobile phones for learning Secwepemctsín. In a community that has joyfully embraced the digitization of cultural and linguistic resources, digital production and dissemination of the language demonstrates the community’s lack of apprehension towards digitization and highlights the importance of context in discussing media and globalization in Indigenous communities. References Bagelman, Jen, Fiona Deveraux, and Raven Hartley. 2016. “Feasting for Change: Reconnecting with Food, Place & Culture.” International Journal of Indigenous Health 11 (1): 6. doi:10.18357/ijih111201616016. Corntassel, Jeff, and Cheryl Bryce. 2012. “Practicing Sustainable Self-Determination: Indigenous Approaches to Cultural Restoration and Revitalization.” The Brown Journal of World Affairs 18 (2): 151. Eisenlohr, Patrick. 2004. “Language Revitalization and New Technologies: Cultures of Electronic Mediation and the Refiguring of Communities.” Annual Review of Anthropology 33 (Journal Article): 21–45. doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.33.070203.143900. Hall, Thomas D., and James V. Fenelon. 2009. Indigenous Peoples and Globalization: Resistance and Revitalization. Book, Whole. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. Kuipers, Aert H. 1974. The Shuswap Language. Vol. 1. Book, Whole. Hague: Mouton. Pink, Sarah, Heather A. Horst, John Postill, Larissa Hjorth, Tania Lewis, and Jo Tacchi. 2016. Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practice. Book, Whole. Los Angles: Sage.
Appears in Collections: 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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