This scene, shown during the launch of the new Cree language app Jan. 23, is designed in such in a way that shows how the language is used each day. The app was presented to those attending the Reclaiming Our Knowledge conference in Maskwacis. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Cree language app from Maskwacis making teaching it easier

App for learning Cree more about everyday life, available soon

Nearly four years of ideas and work finally culminated in a new way to teach the Cree language.

A new app, available with iOS devices, focused on demonstrating how the Cree language is used in every day life and was officially launched on Jan. 23 during the fourth annual Reclaiming Our Knowledge conference in Maskwacis.

Called Maskosis, the app is a follow-up to the original Maskwacis Cree app that was released in 2014. The new app is not yet available for download, but is expected to be ready on iTunes sometime in February.

“This app is the first of its kind, with Cree and English in the same app,” explained Brian Lightning, one of the committee members that worked on producing the app.

It provides 14 different scenes of daily life — from a school classroom to the playground to the home to name a few — which people can interact with by clicking on an object and listen to, plus see the written phrase on the screen.

“It’s fully interactive with animations that respond with both the written Cree language, the English translation and the words being vocalized,” Lightning stated.

“The various scenes and phrases show the Cree language in a storybook format, something that’s never been done before. It introduces people to our grammar and showing that the language is life.”

Both apps came about as a result wanting the Cree language to remain vibrant.

“We started on the first app because the language was in danger of dying off. It was almost to a crisis point. We have some unbelievable Cree speakers and we needed a way to tie them together with the other generations,” Lightning said.

“This app began as the first one just wasn’t reaching our young people and technology was a big part of that. So, we thought of using the technology to bring them back.”

He added it was challenging to convince people to use the first app as it was limited to just one word at a time, whereas the new app allows users to see words and phrases on a single page.

Samson Cree Nation Chief Vernon Saddleback was amazed and somewhat stunned at what the new app can do.

“Growing up, we were taught and tested on Cree at meals. Seeing this app, it’s so different and beyond all of mine and council’s expectations,” he said.

“It’s an amazing way for people to learn and the work spent gathering and saving the language is amazing and simply priceless.”

 

This scene, shown during the launch of the new Cree language app Jan. 23, is designed in such in a way that shows how the language is used each day. The app was presented to those attending the Reclaiming Our Knowledge conference in Maskwacis. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Just Posted

Planning request in County of Wetaskiwin changed at last minute

County of Wetaskiwin council balks at changes that weren’t made public

MLA Smith meets Harper, Scheer at Calgary Stampede

Thorsby alumnus Chad Harden competes at the big rodeo

Letter: P.M. needs to do real work

Wetaskiwin writer says apologizing isn’t a job

Breton RCMP seek motorist who may have witnessed crime

Breton RCMP requesting public assistance in identifying suspects of break and enter

County of Wetaskiwin officers deal with large road ban violations

County CPO notices erratic driver in Wetaskiwin

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

Fredericton widow swears at Trudeau during condolence call

Widow of man killed in Fredericton shooting says she swore at Trudeau during condolence call.

Most Read