Îethka: Stoney Language in Stoney Country Helps Celebrate the Stoney Language

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“It’s entirely their Nation. These illustrations are all from the Nation, just like the photography, the stories and the knowledge,” Shyba said. “It’s a cultural gem.

STONEY NAKODA— Celebrating the knowledge, history and culture of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, a new book aims to capture and preserve the Stoney language for future generations.

Editor and author Tatâga Thkan Wagich (Trent Fox) said that working on Îethka: Stoney’s tongue in stoneIt was a fun learning experience.

“Each person told a very important story and teaching that they received,” he said.

As part of the project, Fox dedicated himself to researching the history and language of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. Through his research, it appears that the Stoney language, Ishka, is the only language of the Sioux that has not been affected by language loss.

He noted that one of the most exciting revelations was discovering the different dialects and pronunciations that exist in the language.

“We all have different ways of pronouncing our words depending on the clan. If you look back, the Nakoda, or what the English call the Sioux, have always lived in clan groups, so they developed clan dialects, ”Fox said. “It’s still true here.”

These regional dialects added to the creative experience Îethka: stoney language in stoney and an impetus has been given to ensure that these differences in language, spelling and pronunciation of words are treated with the utmost care.

Fox first worked with publisher Lorene Shyba to help develop a Stoney language learning resource. Fox then signed on to help edit the anthology of Stoney author stories featured in Îethka: Stoney language in Stoney country.

He also contributed his own story.

“Lorene saw how committed we were to preserving our language and our writing system,” Fox said. “It is a language that has retained its integrity, it has not been lost.

The book was presented starting with the alphabetical system written by Fox, followed by a story written by Îyarhe Wiyapta (Natasha Wesley) on the Stoney number system, Îyâ Sa Wîyâ (Tina Fox) writing on body parts, Mînî Thnî (Trudy Wesley) writing about the names of places in the nation and connecting with the animals of the area, the elder Chadâ Wathte Wîyâ (Glenda Crawler) wrote a story about hunting with her father and the book ends with a story of Tina Fox sharing her first day at a boarding school. .

The book also includes a glossary on how to pronounce words and a poetic presentation of Stoney’s moral values. The written book is supplemented by audio recordings for those learning the language.

The book is designed to increase in difficulty as readers learn more about the language. Fox said he hopes that at the beginning of the book readers will start to recognize the sounds and letters of the Stoney alphabet, which will cause them to start reading the full stories at the end.

He added that having an audiobook is essential as it helps people recognize and understand how words should sound.

“Every sound is unique,” ​​Fox said. “It has been an interesting learning process.

Publisher Lorene Shyba, of Durvile Publications, was on hand to record audio portions of the book at the Chief Goodstoney Rodeo Center on Thursday, July 8 with Fox, Wesley and Crawler.

Shyba said the book explores the transmission of knowledge and how this reflects the Indigenous perspective in relation to Western culture.

Îethka: Stoney language in the Stoney country marks the first in a series planned by Durvile designed to encourage a revival of Indigenous languages ​​and encourage First Nations people and other Canadians to practice these languages.

“These languages ​​are so diverse and there is so much beauty in the intention behind the language which is so different from English,” Shyba said. “We’re so used to defining material things and their languages ​​are so much more focused on, shall we say, the spiritual or the elements of nature.”

It was exciting to start this journey because of the rich Indigenous languages ​​present in Canada. Shyba noted that even within the Stoney language group, there are distinct dialects.

Îethka: Stoney language in the Stoney country presents seven stories that have been brought together with enthusiasm to celebrate Stoney’s knowledge, culture and language. The stories and illustrations come from the nation’s elders and knowledge keepers.

“It’s entirely their Nation. These illustrations are all from the Nation, just like the photography, the stories and the knowledge,” Shyba said. “It’s a cultural gem.

“There is no doubt that there was such a strong influence of beauty and culture in their way of life,” said Shyba. “It’s oral history.

She added that one can feel the joy in the audio recording when the writers shared their stories.

Shyba praised the Indigenous filmmaker and author of We Remember the Coming of the White Man Oral Stories by Dene Elders Raymond Yakeleya for his help in bringing the series to life. Yakeleya helped guide and ensure that Indigenous voices are authentically represented during the post.

Shyba said it has been an honor to work on the project and help celebrate and preserve the Stoney language. Îethka: stoney language in stoney Country is designed for an age group starting at around grade 7 through high school.

As a collective, the authors have decided that the revenues and royalties collected through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the sale of the audiobook and book will be donated to the community for a scholarship.

“The community is trying to find ways to build trust with young people so that they speak the language so that they perpetuate their culture. They have opportunities that go beyond some of the problems facing the nation,” Shyba said. .

Îethka: Stoney language in the Stoney country will be released to the public as a paperback to audiobook on November 1.


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