Professors work to preserve Indigenous languages at FNUniv and UBC

November 5, 2014

At First Nations University, Cree language professor Soloman Ratt has launched a new storybook, Woods Cree Stories, and is working on 3 other book projects designed to preserve and teach Cree. The storybook includes Cree, English, and Cree syllabics and is designed for readers of various levels. Ratt hopes his books make their way into classrooms “to the children, so they can hear the stories and have a lot of good laughs.” Mark Turin, Chair of the UBC First Nations Language Program, is also determined to help preserve Indigenous languages by bringing increased language programming to the university beyond currently offered classes in Cree, Kwak’wala, Nle’kepmxcin, and Dakelh Dene. Turin noted that studying Aboriginal languages is important for culture preservation as well as for gaining a deeper understanding of history, stating that he hopes that UBC can become a centre for a “progressive and community-focused study of First Nations culture and languages.” Regina Leader-Post | Ubyssey