Dene Language Learning Guide Almost Ready

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at 14:07



A Dene language specialist at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre says students in the Far North should have their hands on a brand new language-based workbook by the fall.


Elaine Hay has been working on the book for the past few years.


Hay says the project is essentially aimed at giving Dene students the chance to learn in their own language.


In 2003 and 2004, she and a colleague helped develop a new ciriculum guide for Dene students based on a system from the Northwest Territories.


She says the curriculum was applauded, but some teachers asked for a workbook to be developed alongside it.


Hay says the book is basically ready and just waiting for approval before it is shipped north in the fall.


She notes the book is different than most traditional school texts, as it can be used by all ages.


Hay is also working on a Dene language dictionary with the help of the Prince Albert Grand Council.


So far, she has so compiled a database of 10,000 words.


However, some of the words have no written form and had to be spoken audiby by elders and recorded because they were so ancient.


Hay isn’t sure when the dictionary will be printed, but says it could take a while.