Hotıì ts’eeda was pleased to support Norman Wells resident Jennie Vandermeer and her mother Jane Modeste to attend the June 2019 International Conference on Indigenous Languages and the University of Victoria Masters in Indigenous Language Revitalization Program in Victoria, British Columbia. The two Délı̨nę Got'ı̨nę women are passionate about the preservation and revitalization of their own and other Indigenous languages.
“The conference and visit to UVic had an incredible impact on us,” Jennie says. “During the conference we saw that so many Indigenous groups across the world are struggling to keep their languages alive. To be honest, it was heartbreaking to hear that so many communities only have a few remaining fluent speakers, some as low as three or four.”
However, Jennie remains inspired and hopeful. “Language is vital to identity and we need more people working in this field! My mother has been working in this field since the 1970s and I’m ready to follow in her footsteps. I think that it renewed her sense of hope to see so many people (including myself) who are so passionate about our Indigenous languages. Her and many others have done their part, now it’s up to the next generation of ‘language warriors’.
“Hotıì ts’eeda’s assistance allowed us to be less concerned with funding so that we could fully engage in the conference,” she says. “They are an outstanding organization that is working on projects that are meaningful and useful to communities.”
Stay tuned to this website for more on language revitalization initiatives in the Northwest Territories. If you’re interested in seeking funding support to attend a conference or access professional development in an area that support Indigenous community wellness in the NWT, contact Heather Nakehk'o at firstname.lastname@example.org.