Métis Language Documentation Project

The MNO is planning to undertake a Métis Language Documentation Project during the spring of 2019 (April/May). Guided by the MNO's Statement of Prime Purpose, this project aims to gather information about Métis language in Ontario in order to support language protection and language revitalization initiatives in our MNO Métis communities. The project will include recording Métis language speakers, transcribing recordings (working with Métis language speakers through MNO for translation into French and English), and archiving the audio and video content.

The Michif language is a part of the history and development of Canada. This unique language that resulted from First Nation and European contact formed as the language of the Métis people, and it is just as unique as the people who speak it. Currently, the language of the Métis people is on the verge of extinction.

There has been little formal research or documentation of the language of Métis people in Ontario. In addition to creating a permanent archive of spoken language, the information collected through this project will be available to support further MNO language research initiatives, and will support the creation of language resources and revitalization strategies.

We are asking MNO communities and MNO citizens to identify Michif speakers who may want to participate in the study. This will be an important opportunity for language speakers to contribute to the protection of their language. While it may not be possible to interview all speakers during this first round of work due to time, scheduling and resource limitations, there may be other opportunities to participate in the future as MNO continues to work to protect and revitalize Michif.

Please contact Michael Smith, MNO Education Officer, Bilingual Post-Secondary, at michaels@metisnation.org or (519) 370-0632 ext. 304 in order to identify Michif speakers who might wish to participate in the project. If you are a Michif speaker who is interested in participating, you are welcome to share your contact information to the contact above.

More information will be forthcoming as the project proceeds.

Posted: April 11, 2019

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