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BQFNC ~ Cree Language Interactive Web Based Database


PRESS RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2010

TO: St. Paul Journal, Cree Language Supporters

RE: PROJECT LAUNCH INVITATION

Blue Quills First Nations College is prepared to present on a project entitled, ‘Cree Language Interactive Web Based Database’. This innovative project makes available to language learners and speakers a web based database of Cree verbs showing some of the complexities of its use and application with audio and video samples. The interactive database allows users to see, hear, and experience the Cree language from its morphological context. According to the parameters of the Canadian Heritage innovation fund project definition, “innovation is a process which leads to the generation, development and implementation of creative ideas to produce new or improved products.” In 2006, Blue Quills initiated a partnership arrangement with the Faculté St. Jean at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta to create a prototype static database. Continuing this vibrant partnership with the Faculté providing computer programming expertise and Blue Quills articulating the design and creativity, up to 200 verbs are presented for language learners and speakers to learn or recognize the genius of the Cree language. Cree is a polysynthetic language that is verb based. The dynamic database project depicts the morphological aspect of the Cree language for learners and speakers. To address these aspects, the audio and video holdings of the College were archived, catalogued and prepared for linking in to the database. Then, the database was migrated to a more powerful system to be able to scale up the number of verbs processed and to convert the web files to PHP to gain flexibility and speed. This migration was not simple, since the scripting languages used by the old and the new systems to extract the information from the database and transmit it on the web were not compatible. The language is presented in two orthographies Cree Syllabics and Standard Roman Orthography. The website launch is scheduled to occur at noon, March 30, 2010 at Blue Quills. For more information, contact Blue Quills Language team or email inquiries to cree@bluequills.ca. To preview the website, http://www.csj.ualberta.ca/creeeditor/index.php . Funding for this project was secured from the Aboriginal Languages Initiative Programming element of the Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal People’s Program whose overall goal is to help preserve and promote Aboriginal languages for future generations of Aboriginal peoples and Canadians.

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