One of the best parts of the Cultural Codex development process involved - research! Since we were creating a digital media platform, we explored some amazing projects from around the world. We were particularly interested in digital media projects, particularly video, with a focus on sharing Indigenous language.
Our favourites are just too good not to share! We hope that you enjoy them and that they inspire you to create and share your own videos.
While "I love you" projects have been created using a variety of different languages, few have either included or provided sufficient weight to world's Indigenous languages. But in 2015, a University of Montana student group known as The Sacred Roots Society initiated a project to increase awareness of Indigenous languages through three simple words - "I love you". They created the video below in just time for Valentine's Day.
After a little more searching, we also discovered this montage from the1491s that was published in 2013 on the day after Valentine's Day. We're still feeling the love...
Mi'kmaq motivational speaker, business woman and inspiration, Savvy Simon began using the hashtag #SpeakMikmaq to encourage youth to speak their language. Created using a smartphone, her short videos bring together members of her family, friends, community and beyond to share micro language lessons. See for yourself - "L'nuis'i! It's that easy!"
Her approach has motivated others to start their own campaigns in other languages. When Jacey Firth discovered the #SpeakMikmaq videos, she reached out to Ms. Simon and then started #SpeakGwichinToMe. Check out one of her micro videos below:
In 2014, comedian Tonia Jo Hall called upon Indigenous language speakers and learners to record themselves speaking their language and share it with others. Ms. Hall shared a short video on Facebook of her daughter singing in Lakota as inspiration. The intent? Get more people to learn, practice and share their language, but also to spark activism and advocacy in support of legislation to protect Native American culture and language. We haven't seen enough of these amazing videos!
This translation and recitation by Killa Atencio of the poem "In Flanders Fields" in Mi'kmaq is a powerful and beautiful tribute. The poem was penned in English by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in Belgium during WWI. It is associated with Remembrance Day and the red poppy, honouring those who have sacrificed in war and service. Ms. Atencio has used the perfect image - a beaded poppy - with a sound recording. Feeling inspired? Similar works could be created using free apps like iMovie or Movie Maker. Our team hopes to hear more poems and stories, original or translations, in Indigenous languages.
We hope to see your individual and collaborative projects on Cultural Codex!