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

UPDATE: Red Deer RCMP don’t believe Coronation Park death is suspicious

Male is being transported to Calgary for autopsy

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Red Deer RCMP ask for assistance to ID suspect in indecent acts

The suspect exposed himself to a woman and made sexual comments to her

Red Deer Chamber Awards recognize outstanding businesses

The 37th Annual Business Awards saw five recipients take home prestigious awards

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Trio of Saint Bernard find their ‘forever home’ after story goes viral

Edmonton Humane Society had put out the call to adopt Gasket, Gunther and Goliath

Nova Scotia fixes online workaround of age requirement for cannabis sales

The problem popped up hours after the use of cannabis became legal

Carr, Morneau off to China next month to deepen commerce

Carr says Canada and China aren’t embarking on formal free trade talks

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store

On the first day cannabis was legal a young entrepreneur capitalized on cookie sales

Tougher laws introduced against bestiality, animal fighting

The Liberal government is proposing to strengthen the laws today

Money Monitor: Should you switch to a fixed-rate mortgage?

BMO’s Omar Abouzaher outlines the pros and cons of both types of mortgages

Most Read