Blackfoot Language Program for Calgarians Aims to Preserve Indigenous Oral Culture and Traditions




For Kolton Running Crane, the Blackfoot language is more than just a means of communicating in one’s native language.

“I think language is a fundamental part of identity and this is what makes us unique as an indigenous people because each tribe has a different language and I think it is important to know where we are from. let’s come, ”he said.

“The basis of all indigenous cultures revolves around the language. “

The 16-year-old from Blackfeet Reservation in Montana has worked with Azren Raju, the owner of a language tutoring company called Calgary Language Nerds over the past few months to develop a program to teach the language online to students. others.

Raju had his own goals to start teaching the language, so he rolled out the call for Blackfoot speakers on Facebook and Running Crane responded within minutes.

“I had learned how the Glenbow Museum in Calgary was working on Blackfoot language revitalization efforts. I thought that was really cool and that I could use some of my language learning knowledge to help, ”Raju said.

“Together, Kolton and I continue to develop the program and create more resources as there are hardly any resources to learn Pied-Noir, especially in relation to French, Spanish or French. other more widely spoken languages.

A full online Blackfoot language course with resources as well as live, pre-recorded lessons for the general public will now be offered starting September 30.

You can register for online courses.


Blackfoot language classes taught online by Kolton Running Crane and The Calgary Language Nerds have already taken place over the past two months at Katimavik – a non-profit group in Calgary that invites young people to learn life skills and education. work experience contributing to their community.

Project manager Lily Lam said the group had considered adding Blackfoot classes and finally found the opportunity.

She adds that much of the Blackfoot language has been lost in Canada’s residential school system, but efforts to bring its roots back to the public are stronger than ever.

“This is something that we have really wanted to do for our home for quite some time,” Lam said.

“There is so much history and culture in this language that is not translated, so learning has really been an important way for me and the participants to gain more perspectives on the land we live on here in Treaty Seven. “


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