Friday, July 24, 2020

MLA Rice shares some Sm'algyax salutations for the Legislature and word of Brendan Eshom's newest language project

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice celebrated the language work of
Prince Rupert's Brendan Eshom this week

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice shared a little North Coast Łoomsk for the work of a recent Charles Hays Secondary graduate, sharing word of his love for words and the newest creation from Brendan Eshom, who has developed an App to help residents learn more about Sm'algyax.

Ms. Rice made use of her speaking time as part of the Wednesday session.

Participating by video link, she offered up some of her thoughts on the ongoing efforts to keep Indigenous languages alive for communities across the province.

As the members of this chamber know, B.C. is home to dozens of different Indigenous languages. But like much of the Indigenous culture across Canada, these languages have been victims of centuries of colonial efforts to eradicate them in favour of English language and culture. 

 First Nations communities, including those in my riding, are now fighting to keep their languages alive for future generations. 

Most are doing so through traditional education, their nation or through B.C.'s public school system, but some are using technology and other innovations to ensure the survival of their language.

As part of her presentation to the Legislature on Wednesday, Ms. Rice showcased some of her Sm'algyax and hailed the work of Mr. Eshom offering the Legilsature a look at how successful his work on language has been.

But simply building a website was not enough for him. He took his idea and extra step further, and with funding from the Gitga'at First Nation, he developed a mobile app called Sm'algyax Word, based on his already successful website. 

As of last week, his app had gone viral on the Apple app store, becoming the 104th most popular app on the app store. 

 His app will help keep the Tsimshian culture alive. In his own words: "Illuminating Sm̓algya̱x means revealing a world view that is unique to Tsimshian culture."

We highlighted the work of the UBC bound graduate earlier this month, providing a bit of background on what is now his second impressive contribution to sharing his skills and creative projects with the public.

For more notes on the App see the Apple Store or Google Play store.

Further items of interest on the work of Ms. Rice and other Legislature themes see our archive page here.

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