Indigenous Language Spots
This exhibition came out of a series of audio recordings in Indigenous languages made for the radio in early 2018. The Language Spots were created to amplify exposure and attention to Indigenous languages and to inspire curiosity about Indigenous culture, history, and the importance of preserving and sustaining endangered languages.
This iteration of the exhibition focuses on Kanien’kéha, or Mohawk language. Stream the audio recordings by Professor Ryan DeCaire speaking Kanien’kéha and describing the meanings of the words for English speakers. In the future, we plan to expand the project to represent the rich diversity of Indigenous languages on Turtle Island.
Listening is a powerful first step towards understanding and creating right relationships with Indigenous peoples. Enjoy the exhibition and listen and learn Kanien’kéha. You can also attend the exhibition reception on Nov. 1, 2018.
This project is a collaboration between Hart House and Ciimaan/Kahuwe’yá/Qajaq Indigenous Language Initiative at the Centre for Indigenous Studies.
Ciimaan/Kahuwe’yá/Qajaq Indigenous Language Initiative at the Centre for Indigenous Studies at U of T offers many opportunities to learn more about Indigenous languages and culture including formal classes, workshops, programming, and social and cultural activities.
If you’d like to read transcripts, you can download them on our website.
Ryan DeCaire is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and was born and raised in Wáhta Mohawk Territory, Ontario, Canada. He is working to revitalize Kanien’kéha (the Mohawk Language) and focuses on best practices for developing advanced oral proficiency in adults. He is a language learner, developing high proficiency in Kanien’kéha in a short time, as well as an experienced instructor in immersion and non-immersion environments. Ryan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Centre for Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto, a PhD Student in the Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization Program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, as well as an instructor and curriculum developer at Onkwawén:na Kentyóhkwa, a Mohawk language immersion school for adults, located in Six Nations, Ontario.
Jenny Blackbird, Coordinator, Nehiyaw (Kehewin Cree Nation) Finnish-Canadian. Jenny is the coordinator for the Ciimaan/Kahuwe’yá/Qajaq Indigenous Language Initiative at the Centre for Indigenous Studies, as well as an Indigenous Knowledge Resource Teacher at the Royal Ontario Museum. She also volunteers at Aboriginal Legal Services for their Diversion and Giiwedin Anang alternative dispute resolution programs. Jenny is a multidisciplinary artist, Old Style Jingle dress dancer and hand drummer.
Day Milman, Coordinator, is a settler, originally from the unceded territory of the Hul’qumi’num people. She is an educator and artist working at Hart House.
Alexander Young, Designer, is a Métis student working towards his Master of Science in Biomedical Communications at the University of Toronto. His family’s traditional territory is Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, but the Métis Nation of Ontario has been his contemporary Métis home since he was a child. Alexander is excited to be part of the team at UofT working to preserve and highlight Indigenous languages.
Braeden Doane, Audio Editor, is a settler from Virginia. She is an audio producer/handyman who loves listening to the stories, languages, and soundscapes that surround her.