The organization has been working with Ogooki Learning and the community to create language apps. The main one and the most popular one is the L’nui’suti. This is a translation app on the lexicon side. The app contains categories where you can see the written word and hear the sound.
They also have a “how do you say it” app. The phrase builder is limited in size. It is useful with the app.
Recently they have tried to uploading Robert Munsch books. They had put them in the app store as they translated into the language. Apple did not want to publish as an app. It was rejected and said it should be in iBook. They had to add to it and put puzzles and activities.
Some of the items are taking too much memory and booted out of it. With Google store, they have no problem with what is uploaded. Google Play store reviews it. The organization uses more Apple products and had to learn about google as not everyone has an iPhone.
Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (MK) works on improving the equality of education for our people and maintaining and revitalizing our Mi’kmaq language. The main office is in Sydney Nova Scotia (NS) and the sub-office is in Cole Harbour, NS.
The apps receive a lot of traffic.
They built an app and used photoshop along with the program Quick share. The organization has a team of people who can do coding. They have students who have done this and have become grown good in coding and using software. Ogooki Learning taught the skills for them to move forward.
They still have apps that have not been published yet and are still working on publication.
In order to do this, they look at other apps to see what is being done and build upon this or it generates ideas. The focus is on any ages. They have looked at Munsch books to be translated. The books tend to be heavy in the Mi’kmaq language, but they have the sound recording available. For one Munsch book, the verse “I Love you Forever” is featured on every page. They had someone sing it in the language, like a lullaby song.
The organization has also created a prayer app.
In beginning there was more translating for English. Other immersion schools needed a set language. When they looked at books, they were made for non-native geared towards non-native. The community did not identify with it. They found Eagle Crest in BC. The group translated the whole set of titles and printed off the items in the office. The models looked like them.
The organization also helps in assessment- orally. They interview to assist proficiency in students.
They develop language materials for the months along with unit plans and record songs.
The Cape Breton, geographically, has lots of language speakers. There is a person who teaches online to other communities. It teaches them the languages. They do material development and developed flash cards. Cars also work here with schools that have language.
They support immersion program; we find funding to get published.
The organization also develops land-based curriculum. It is popular across the country. They used it and developed it and worked on it bringing it to the classrooms.
They are developing curriculum for Grand Council for teachers.
There is a woman who teaches daycares and helps lady on mainland to help her community to do this.
For schools, they have language teachers. Some teachers are not fluent on the mainland. For Cape Breton, they have language teachers who are fluent.
They have created a Teacher’s Network who meets once a month on a Saturday. These are PD sessions. The teachers wanted to learn but had hard time not learn school and find substitutes.
Important to keep in mind that sometimes what might work, might not work in the community.
In communities, the daycares are working on it. They are stating on our strengths. If give up now, it will be another statistic. Coupe of people in Eskasoni are not from here. The community voiced over in Chicken Run in 2011. This was a huge hit and people are wanting to watch it. Some of the older speakers were not sure about it because of language. People have learning expression and having convos was common based.
They partnered with Spring Learning to look at primary, Kindergarten, Grade 1 on what kind of language. Holistic assessment of student. They included puppet part of classroom. One of friends is a Math student. Developed math assessment. Used to work with Saint FX, used to be partners. One of parts is Math, funding was limited with Saint FX. They still help out and work on assessment.
Fortunate to have one language in Nova Scotia. They can come to the Plains and can understand.
With Maliseet in New Brunswick, can pick out words because work with Mi’kmaq. It is not dialect different, there are couple of words. This can be a barrier.
Funding is a challenge and at the beginning they did not have an Advisory Group. There is a group now, they have a whole team in the language department and meet with the Advisory Group once a month. The group consists of one member from each community who works in education and are fluent language speakers.
Projects take time and money. Although have people to help out, it is hard to get published at the end.
If they cannot print it off, they put it in google docs so that it can be printed off.
Would like to see schools have immersion programs. Eskosoni operated since 2000. Have two other communities now changing to immersion. They do no have school in all of the communities in Nova Scotia. They really need children that learn the language.
Language is rolling down hill really fast.
Bridge the Gap
If funding was available, they would have immersion in all schools.
They would try to get university grads to go into education degrees. Developing more language kits in different ways that can be shared.