Say It First


Indigenous Language Revitalization

New book aims to help Indigenous kids with hospital-visit anxiety

book aims to help indigenous kids with hospital visit anxiety
Learning a language re-enforces self-identity,” Parkhill said, and he wants children to do so at an early age.

The creators of a new children’s book want to help ease stress for kids coming from remote locations to Winnipeg for their first visit to the hospital. The book, Nindooshkinagadenima My New Friend, is a collaboration between author and illustrator Mike Parkhill and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. The book will be available in English and three Indigenous languages—Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibwe. The book was developed to help those languages thrive and to educate children about going to the hospital. It addresses some of the anxiety that children can feel on their first trip through the story of Dolly the deer, who twisted her hoof and needs to go to a Winnipeg hospital.

Continued at http://www.metronews.ca/news/winnipeg/2017/10/10/new-book-aims-to-help-indigenous-kids-with-hospital-visit-anxiety.html

New book helps kids from remote communities feel more comfortable heading to the hospital

My New Friend, a book developed by the Children's Hospital Foundation and written in collaboration with Canadian children’s author and illustrator Mike Parkhill, has been translated into three Indigenous languages to help kids cope with going to the hospital.  My New Friend, a book developed by the Children's Hospital Foundation and written in collaboration with Canadian children’s author and illustrator Mike Parkhill, has been translated into three Indigenous languages to help kids cope with going to the hospital.
My New Friend, a book developed by the Children's Hospital Foundation and written in collaboration with Canadian children’s author and illustrator Mike Parkhill, has been translated into three Indigenous languages to help kids cope with going to the hospital.

When kids from northern communities have to fly south to see a doctor it can be scary to see the tall buildings and bustling streets for the first time.

A new book, translated into three Indigenous languages, is helping make the journey a bit more understandable.

My New Friend was developed by the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba to help Indigenous children understand their fears and anxieties about going to the hospital.

Continued at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/book-indigenous-languages-hospitals-1.4347971

 

Prince Charles's charities work to undo past wrongs against Indigenous people through reconciliation

These three books in Indigenous languages are part of a series produced in partnership with Prince’s Charities Canada, publisher SayITFirst and First Nations University.

Prince Charles's charities work to undo past wrongs against Indigenous people through reconciliation

When the Prince of Wales visits Canada this week to celebrate the country's 150th birthday, his charitable organization hopes to leave a legacy behind him that addresses some of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. Miriam Katawazi explains the work Prince's Charities Canada is doing to promote Indigenous languages, job creation and nutrition.

(Three of SayITFirsts books are featured in the article)

Continued at https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-150/prince-charles-canada-150-charity-indigenous/article35476084/

 

Children's Book that Prince Charles Wrote Is An Arctic Tale

old man pangnirtung prince charles

Years ago Prince Charles created a children’s story for his younger brothers, Andrew and Edward, who were bored during a vacation to the royal family’s Scottish home of Balmoral. Called The Old Man of Lochnagar, it tells the tale of a grumpy Old Man who retreats into a cave, only to discover it’s an entrance to the Gorm pixie world. Published in 1980, with watercolour illustrations by Hugh Casson, it was an instant classic.

Now, nearly 40 years later, the tale has been re-imagined and published in Inuktitut, thanks to Mike Parkhill of SayITFirst, an organization that seeks to promote Indigenous languages by creating children’s books in languages ranging from Mi’Kmaw and Malisette to Woodlands Cree and Southern Tutchone.

Continued at http://writeroyalty.com/the-childrens-book-that-prince-charles-wrote-is-now-an-arctic-tale/

 

Indigenous-language children's books launched in Saskatchewan

Indigenous-language children's books launched in Saskatchewan

 

The First Nations University has partnered with Prince’s Charities Canada to launch Indigenous-language children’s books in Saskatchewan.

Written by SayITFirst Inc. and translated by the First Nations University faculty and alumni, the books aim to revitalize Cree languages through youth.

The five books – written in Swampy, Woods, and Plains Cree dialects – are aimed at children aged four to eight. The books target significant childhood development topics and bring up key lessons that are relevant to both children and adults.

Read the entire article: http://regina.ctvnews.ca/indigenous-circle/indigenous-language-children-s-books-launched-in-saskatchewan-1.3323193

First Nations University project brings Cree children's books to Sask

First Nations University project brings Cree children's books to Sask

The First Nations University of Canada is working with Prince's Charities Canada to help revitalize Indigenous languages in Saskatchewan.

The project has had five Indigenous language children's books written by SayITFirst Inc. published.

The books were translated and edited by university faculty and alumni. The five books were written in Cree dialects of Swampy, Woods and Plain, and are targeted at children from the ages of four to eight.

 

Read the entire article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/cree-books-first-nations-university-of-canada-1.4021228

Royal visit has lasting impact for Indigenous students in the Yukon

Royal visit has lasting impact for Indigenous students in the Yukon
Student John Allen with his new laptop, just before meeting the Royal couple

The Royal Visit to the Yukon has left a lasting impact for students of the Dusk’a Head Start Family Learning Centre, where 29 children received laptops and books from One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Canada, the Prince’s Charities of Canada and TD Bank Group.

Read the entire article: http://nationtalk.ca/story/royal-visit-has-lasting-impact-for-indigenous-students-in-the-yukon

Revitalisation of Indigenous Languages, Through Mike Parkhill of SayITFirst, Awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

Mike Parkhill & the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada

Mike Parkhill, Founder of SayITFirst, receives the Honour of the Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division) from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. SayITFirst is an organization dedicated to helping First Nation communities and Elders breathe new life into Canada’s Native languages. Mike has shown commitment to supporting minority cultures to take ownership in rebuilding their self identity. Photo credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2016.

Mike Parkhill, founder of SayITFirst, receives the Honour of the Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division) from His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. SayITFirst is an organization dedicated to helping First Nation communities and Elders breathe new life into Canada’s Native languages. Mike has shown commitment to supporting minority cultures to take ownership in rebuilding their self identity.

The Meritorious Service Decorations celebrate Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brings honour to Canada. The Civil Division recognizes remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour. The contributions can be innovative, set an example for others to follow, or improve the quality of life of a community.

In 2009, Mike Parkhill left a senior position at Microsoft Canada to tackle a fundamental social and educational issue: revitalizing dying First Nations languages in Canada. His interest began with a Microsoft project to modernize the Inuktitut language. When Mike learned about his ability to make a difference supporting marginalized sectors, his interest became a full-time passion by founding SayITFirst. Mr. Parkhill was also awarded the Order of Ontario in January of this year in recognition of the work of SayITFirst http://www.sayitfirst.ca.

“I have always supported the underdog throughout my personal and professional lives.” When I became witness to the tenacity of Indigenous people and the challenges they were facing, I needed to stop what I was doing and apply my knowledge to help. Deep down, I had no choice. My friends have taken that help and made it their own."

Mike's work has supported the work of others to change the paradigm of what is possible, using technology to aid a new generation in developing their own self-identity. Studies show that building self-identity at an early age can proactively protect against teenage suicides, truancy, gang activity and substance abuse.

The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, bestowed the honour to the new appointees during an investiture ceremony at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax. The event was streamed live online at http://www.gg.ca on July 13 and was also broadcast live on Eastlink TV.

For more information about SayITFirst, contact Mike Parkhill

Media Release: Revitalisation of Indigenous Languages, Through Mike Parkhill of SayITFirst, Awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)

Order of Ontario Ceremony

Premiere Wynne & Mike Parkhill, Order of Ontario Ceremony

Mike Parkhill, SayITFirst and the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne

 

Mike Parkhill & Brent Tookenay, Order of Ontario Ceremony

Mike Parkhill, SayITFirst and Brent Tookenay, CEO of Seven Generations institute

 

Order of Ontario Recipients 2016

 Order of Ontario Recipients, 2015
 

Media

Mary Ito, Fresh Air CBC Radio Interview

Mike Parkhill & Mary Ito
Mike and Mary Ito, host of CBC Radio, Fresh Air

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CBC in the Arctic/Inuktitut

While at Microsoft Canada in the role of Director, Academic Sector, Mike worked with the Government of Nunavut and the Pirurvik Centre to modernize over 860,000 words and phrases in the Inuktitut Language.  

 

Nunuvut Award Microsoft Canada

Upon completion of Inuktitut versions of Microsoft Windows and Office, the Minister of Culture and Heritage awarded Microsoft Canada with a gift noting their exemplary work to help in keeping the Inuktitut language vibrant. Mike Parkhill from SayITFirst accepted the award on behalf of Microsoft Canada.

 

Prince’s Charities Canada (PCC)

Prince's Charities CanadaPPC works with existing Canadian charities and facilitates new opportunities for charitable organizations in Canada and the U.K. to work together.

SayITFirst is honoured to be among the Aboriginal Initiatives supported by the Prince’s Charities in Canada.

To learn more: http://www.princescharities.ca/initiatives/aboriginal-initiatives/

 

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Canada

One Laptop Per ChildInvesting in Indigenous youth through the provision of technology, professional development for educators and community engagement initiatives. To date, OLPC Canada has provided more than 4000 Indigenous youth with laptops and tablets in rural, remote and urban communities across the country.

SayITFirst educational materials such as Native language books and language learning tools are donated for pre-installation on OLPC devices and servers. 

To learn more: http://www.olpccanada.com/

Mike Parkhill & Brent Tookenay working together to sustain indigenous languages

Mike Parkhill and Brent Tookenay on The Agenda(TVO)

The decline of indigenous languages is part of the tragic legacy of Canada's residential school system. Mike Parkhill, founder of indigenous language advocacy website SayitFirst.ca, and Brent Tookenay, CEO of Seven Generations Educational Institute, are working together to change the tide. They join The Agenda in the Summer to discuss how technology and community can help revitalize indigenous languages.

Article: http://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/shared-values/how-technology-and-education-can-help-preserve-aboriginal-languages

Video:http://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/digitizing-indigenous-languages

AMI Accessible Media interview

reading SIF book

Mike Parkhill, founder of sayITFirst,  interviewed on AMI Accessible Media Inc. on July 21, 2016. “Language is the tool we use to build self identity in aboriginal youth.”  

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Prince William and Kate to deliver book written in rare native tongue to indigenous children

Hide and Peek in Tutchone

Prince William and Kate to deliver book written in rare native tongue to indigenous children. 

At a Yukon event next week, the royal couple will distribute picture books written in Southern Tutchone, a threatened language. The children's book by author Mike Parkhill that has been translated into the indigenous language of Southern Tutchone.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive in Canada next week bearing a simple gift that could go a long way toward helping preserve a threatened native language.

According to the most recent census data, only 200 or so people are able to speak Southern Tutchone, one of eight native tongues still in use by indigenous people in Yukon, where Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit next week.

The reality is more bleak. Members of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, near Whitehorse, say that only about 50 elders and less than a dozen younger people are capable of holding a conversation in the language. “It’s challenging because we do have fewer and fewer speakers. As time goes by, our elders are passing away too, so it’s a scary situation,” said Sean Smith, a band councillor.

During the royal couple’s visit to the city, in an event scheduled for Wednesday, they will be armed with a strong and symbolic message carried within the deceptively simple covers of a children’s book about William the Moose.

Read the full Toronto Star article

SIF native language children¹s books are funded by Prince¹s Charities, Canada as an extension of a FNEII project originally sponsored by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal Languages Initiative.

How to preserve Indigenous languages for the next generation

macleans 

There are only 1,000 people in the world who have some knowledge of the Southern Tutchone language, says André Bourcier, acting director of the Yukon Native Language Centre in Whitehorse. There are eight languages in the territory, including Southern Tutchone, spoken to some degree by an estimated 10,000 people. “These are endangered languages,” the linguist says. For Southern Tutchone, while 1,000 have some knowledge, only an estimated 500 can speak it and of those, just 200 know enough to maintain a conversation.

Continue reading the full Maclean's article: http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/how-to-preserve-indigenous-languages-for-the-next-generation/

The Elders Speak

Brent Tookenay-CEO of Seven Generations Educational Institute

 

“SayITFirst has been a real catalyst for Seven Generations Educational Institute and our partnership with the Rainy River District School Board.  It has allowed us to become a driving force in the revitalization of Native Languages.”