Monday, July 13, 2020

Want to work on your Sm'algyax ... there's an app for that!

A new initiative from a recent graduate of Charles Hays Secondary School is now available to help those looking to learn, or expand their knowledge of Sm'algyax offering up an opportunity to practice, practice, practice.

The new app which features the North Coast Indigenous language common to Ts'msyen communities was launched over the weekend and has now been included in the Apple App Store charts for education software.

The genesis for the app, created by Brendan Eshom, who graduated from CHSS last month, came after his grade 12 timetable could not accommodate a Sm'algyax course. The instruction of the Indigenous language is part of the curriculum for students of School District 52.

Funding for the project came through a grant from the Git'gat First Nation and the app has been endorsed by the Sm'algyax Language Authority.

Mr. Eshom who is a member of the Gig'gat Nation is happy with the early response to the launch of the project and what it offers those who wish to learn.

"Growing up as part of the Gitga'at First Nation, I have immersed myself in study of Sm'algyax. I am excited to share my passion for the language with audiences both here at home and around the world. Tradition and history are embedded in language. 

Illuminating Sm'algyax means revealing a worldview that is unique to Ts'mysen culture. It's humbling to witness the ongoing revitalization of the language, thanks to its speakers, learners, and advocates."

The App project builds on the success of a website that debuted in late 2019, which offers a new word of the day and provides a wider overview of the Sm'algyax language.

His passion for the language will continue even as Mr. Eshom heads off for further studies at UBC in the fall, with the local linguist looking to build on his success in distributing and offer further resources.

You can download the program from both the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

More on education in the Northwest can be found from our archive page here.

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