In celebration of Indigenous Education Week, we partnered with Ciimaan/Kahuwe’yá/Qajaq Indigenous Language Initiative, at the Centre for Indigenous Studies, to launch a new Talking Walls exhibit featuring streamable audio clips in Kanien’kéha, the Mohawk language.

Curious about Indigenous culture, history, and the importance of preserving and sustaining endangered languages? Our latest Talking Walls exhibit will put you on the right path.

Located on the main floor of Hart House, the Indigenous Language Spots exhibit features a series of posters offering information about Kanien’kéha, the Mohawk language. 

The posters also include a QR code linking to streamable audio clips by U of T professor, Ryan DeCaire, where he speaks Kanien’kéha and describes the meanings of the words for English speakers. (If you’d rather read the transcripts, they can be found on the Hart House website.)

One of theOne of the posters up for display at the Indigenous Language Spots Talking Walls Exhibit.

“It’s a timely and relevant exhibit,” says Jenny Blackbird, Coordinator for the Ciimaan/Kahuwe’yá/Qajaq Indigenous Language Initiative at the Centre for Indigenous Studies. Jenny is also an Indigenous Knowledge Resource Teacher at the Royal Ontario Museum.

“There’s an urgency for Indigenous languages to be pushed to the forefront because there’s a smaller amount of first speakers. That makes the work of people who’re doing language revitalization, like U of T Assistant professor Ryan DeCaire and his immersion camps, really important for the Kanien’kéha community as well as for non-Indigenous students.”

Asked what is it she hopes that visitors to the exhibit will experience, Jenny says she hopes they will not only learn a little bit about the word for Ontario, or how to say hello or thank you, but also “the beauty of the concept behind the language, and how one word can pack in so much meaning.” 

Drop by Hart House before November 4 and view our Indigenous Language Spots exhibit! You can also attend the exhibition reception on Nov. 1.

What else is going at Hart House?

Our Creative and Fitness classes are open for registration! From film and theatre to dance and martial arts, our wide range of offerings will allow you to pursue almost any hobby or field you always wanted to try.

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