The CURA project (Community University Research Alliance) funded by a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) grant is a unique partnership between the University of Victoria and the Sencoten and Hul'q'umi'num' speaking communities on Southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The project is working to revitalize indigenous languages using different media forms; DVDs, CDs, computers, internet, booklets and oral/more traditional formats. We are now entering the final phase of the 5 year project. The CURA team is finishing the last of the projects and completing the final project reports which will be available online.
The Hul'q'umi'num' Projects
Hul'q'umi'num' Mentoring project One on one language mentoring, hands on approach. Mentorees focus on day to day and cultural use of the language from fluent speakers. This project has been completed and the first of the participant meetings has been completed to help complete the project report which will be available online.
Summer Immersion project Hul'q'umi'num' language immersion. The diversity and size of the group led to an introduction using the Total Physical Response (TPR) system. Project partner, Chemainus Native College, is moving to having a mandatory immersion classes for all staff.
Traditional Bighouse speaking DVDs Two DVDs have been created focusing on the sacredness of Hul'q'umi'num' and the importance of the language used during traditional ceremony. The two completed DVDs will be released in the fall of 2008. The release has been initiated with the elders of all the Hul'q'umi'num' communities and will be commencing with language learners and community members. The Snuwuyulh project is undergoing some modification and will be available in 2009. Cedar and weaving DVD DVD demonstrating through the use of theHul'q'umi'num' language the importance of Xpey' (red cedar) and the basics of collecting weaving material as well as an intro to weaving. The DVD stresses the importance of traditional teachings around the use and collection of cedar bark.
Web lessons Designed for use on CD or accessible through the internet; this program uses the 'hot potatoes' format to walk the language learner through a variety of lessons introducing them to the language. The lessons have been completed 1 through 9 and arer now available online on this blog. They will be available on CD at a later date.
Traditional Stories Project DVDs and CDs of traditional stories told in Hul'q'umi'num' with subtitles in both Hul'q'umi'num' and English. This facilitates language learning as well as reinforcing common use of the language while increasing exposure to Hul'q'umi'num'. We have almost completed a DVD with 3 children's stories by Mabel Mitchel that will also be available this fall. Plant and animal Guidebook A booklet showing a broad range of plants and animals that are more commonly used by the Hul'q'umi'num' and Sencoten speaking peoples of Southern Vancouver Island. This booklet has 180 different species with their Hul'q'umi'num' names, common names, latin names and french as well. This project was intiated as a partnership with Parks Canada.