By Amber Bear. 

The Indigenous language podcast project, “pîkiskwêwin: Sharing Indigenous Languages On Radio and Online” is renewed for one more year and is expanding the podcast languages to include all of Canada’s Indigenous languages.  

pîkiskwêwin is an Indigenous language podcast project that was developed through the First Nations University of Canada to revitalize Indigenous languages by mentoring and training new language learners and fluent speakers. They have taken what they learned over the last two years of working with Saskatchewan’s Indigenous languages and will expand to all of Canada. The project was started in the Fall of 2021 and focuses on Saskatchewan’s Indigenous languages. The podcasts are in the Saulteaux, Michif, Nakota and Cree languages. The podcast project has covered many different topics from parenting, grief and grieving, cooking and prayers, in a variety of Saskatchewan’s Indigenous languages.  

“Anybody with an idea for a podcast should reach out to us. Even if you don’t have podcast experience with technical things,” Executive Producer Shannon Avison said “Some of our podcasters are not fluent but they know someone, or they have relatives who are fluent speakers.”  

With the renewed funding from Heritage Canada, the project will expand their range and include Indigenous languages that are found across Canada. Avison said, “we will launch new podcasts in languages from Saskatchewan but also we are working with people from British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nova Scotia and Ontario to help them develop podcasts in their languages.”  

The project has a new podcast to release,  Avison said, “they are all going to be great but the one that I’m most excited about is an interview that Robert Merasty did with Gary Tinker who’s from Pinehouse. It will be a series of five episodes, starting with ‘Centennial Child.’ Gary Tinker shares memories of his childhood and growing up in the first episode, with Robert Merasty and the podcast are in the Cree and Michif languages.”  

They have a library of over 100 podcasts available at www.pîkiskwê and will be adding to the list with weekly podcast releases.

(Photo of First Nations University of Canada.)