Prince’s Charities Canada (PCC) is pleased to announce a partnership with Canadian Heritage and the Manitoba Children’s Hospital Indigenous Language Program to produce five illustrated children’s books in Cree, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree and Inuktitut.
The books will focus on themes of childhood development and health care and be available to children at the hospital. They will include phonetics and the English translation and be recorded in each of the four Indigenous languages.
Prince’s Charities Canada has been working with community groups on preserving and revitalizing Indigenous languages since 2014. “I am immensely proud of this new project, which helps Indigenous children deal with the struggles of illness while learning their traditional language and culture,” said HRH The Prince of Wales. “I hope that these books provide an equal measure of comfort and pride to the families supported by the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.”
The creators of a new children’s book want to help ease stress for kids coming from remote locations to Winnipeg for their first visit to the hospital. The book, Nindooshkinagadenima My New Friend, is a collaboration between author and illustrator Mike Parkhill and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. The book will be available in English and three Indigenous languages—Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibwe. The book was developed to help those languages thrive and to educate children about going to the hospital. It addresses some of the anxiety that children can feel on their first trip through the story of Dolly the deer, who twisted her hoof and needs to go to a Winnipeg hospital.
When kids from northern communities have to fly south to see a doctor it can be scary to see the tall buildings and bustling streets for the first time.
A new book, translated into three Indigenous languages, is helping make the journey a bit more understandable.
My New Friend was developed by the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba to help Indigenous children understand their fears and anxieties about going to the hospital.
Prince Charles's charities work to undo past wrongs against Indigenous people through reconciliation
When the Prince of Wales visits Canada this week to celebrate the country's 150th birthday, his charitable organization hopes to leave a legacy behind him that addresses some of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. Miriam Katawazi explains the work Prince's Charities Canada is doing to promote Indigenous languages, job creation and nutrition.
(Three of SayITFirsts books are featured in the article)
Years ago Prince Charles created a children’s story for his younger brothers, Andrew and Edward, who were bored during a vacation to the royal family’s Scottish home of Balmoral. Called The Old Man of Lochnagar, it tells the tale of a grumpy Old Man who retreats into a cave, only to discover it’s an entrance to the Gorm pixie world. Published in 1980, with watercolour illustrations by Hugh Casson, it was an instant classic.
Now, nearly 40 years later, the tale has been re-imagined and published in Inuktitut, thanks to Mike Parkhill of SayITFirst, an organization that seeks to promote Indigenous languages by creating children’s books in languages ranging from Mi’Kmaw and Malisette to Woodlands Cree and Southern Tutchone.
The First Nations University has partnered with Prince’s Charities Canada to launch Indigenous-language children’s books in Saskatchewan.
Written by SayITFirst Inc. and translated by the First Nations University faculty and alumni, the books aim to revitalize Cree languages through youth.
The five books – written in Swampy, Woods, and Plains Cree dialects – are aimed at children aged four to eight. The books target significant childhood development topics and bring up key lessons that are relevant to both children and adults.
The First Nations University of Canada is working with Prince's Charities Canada to help revitalize Indigenous languages in Saskatchewan.
The project has had five Indigenous language children's books written by SayITFirst Inc. published.
The books were translated and edited by university faculty and alumni. The five books were written in Cree dialects of Swampy, Woods and Plain, and are targeted at children from the ages of four to eight.
Read the entire article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/cree-books-first-nations-university-of-canada-1.4021228
The Royal Visit to the Yukon has left a lasting impact for students of the Dusk’a Head Start Family Learning Centre, where 29 children received laptops and books from One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Canada, the Prince’s Charities of Canada and TD Bank Group.
Read the entire article: http://nationtalk.ca/story/royal-visit-has-lasting-impact-for-indigenous-students-in-the-yukon
By Sarah Peterson, CBC News
Mike Parkhill is determined to help save Indigenous languages from disappearing. And last week, he received a meritorious service medal from the Governor General for his efforts. "It's more of a calling. It's not even a job," the Halifax man said Monday. "It's something I couldn't turn off."
Mike Parkhill, founder of SayITFirst, receives the Honour of the Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division) from His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. SayITFirst is an organization dedicated to helping First Nation communities and Elders breathe new life into Canada’s Native languages. Mike has shown commitment to supporting minority cultures to take ownership in rebuilding their self identity.
The Meritorious Service Decorations celebrate Canadians who have performed an exceptional deed or activity that brings honour to Canada. The Civil Division recognizes remarkable contributions in many different fields of endeavour. The contributions can be innovative, set an example for others to follow, or improve the quality of life of a community.
In 2009, Mike Parkhill left a senior position at Microsoft Canada to tackle a fundamental social and educational issue: revitalizing dying First Nations languages in Canada. His interest began with a Microsoft project to modernize the Inuktitut language. When Mike learned about his ability to make a difference supporting marginalized sectors, his interest became a full-time passion by founding SayITFirst. Mr. Parkhill was also awarded the Order of Ontario in January of this year in recognition of the work of SayITFirst http://www.sayitfirst.ca.
“I have always supported the underdog throughout my personal and professional lives.” When I became witness to the tenacity of Indigenous people and the challenges they were facing, I needed to stop what I was doing and apply my knowledge to help. Deep down, I had no choice. My friends have taken that help and made it their own."
Mike's work has supported the work of others to change the paradigm of what is possible, using technology to aid a new generation in developing their own self-identity. Studies show that building self-identity at an early age can proactively protect against teenage suicides, truancy, gang activity and substance abuse.
The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, bestowed the honour to the new appointees during an investiture ceremony at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax. The event was streamed live online at http://www.gg.ca on July 13 and was also broadcast live on Eastlink TV.
For more information about SayITFirst, contact Mike Parkhill
Mike Parkhill, SayITFirst and Brent Tookenay, CEO of Seven Generations institute
Press Release: Mike Parkhill of SayITFirst Appointed to Order of Ontario
The Independent Free Press: Former Georgetown resident receives Order of Ontario
The Halifax Chronicle Herald: Bittersweet honour for SayITFirst for FIrst Nations language tool
Mike Parkhill, President of SayITFirst, dedicated to supporting First Nations initiatives in revitalizing native languages, recently of Georgetown now living in Halifax, is invested into the Order of Ontario on January 20th, 2016.
Mary Ito, Fresh Air CBC Radio Interview
While at Microsoft Canada in the role of Director, Academic Sector, Mike worked with the Government of Nunavut and the Pirurvik Centre to modernize over 860,000 words and phrases in the Inuktitut Language.
Upon completion of Inuktitut versions of Microsoft Windows and Office, the Minister of Culture and Heritage awarded Microsoft Canada with a gift noting their exemplary work to help in keeping the Inuktitut language vibrant. Mike Parkhill from SayITFirst accepted the award on behalf of Microsoft Canada.
PPC works with existing Canadian charities and facilitates new opportunities for charitable organizations in Canada and the U.K. to work together.
SayITFirst is honoured to be among the Aboriginal Initiatives supported by the Prince’s Charities in Canada.
Investing in Indigenous youth through the provision of technology, professional development for educators and community engagement initiatives. To date, OLPC Canada has provided more than 4000 Indigenous youth with laptops and tablets in rural, remote and urban communities across the country.
SayITFirst educational materials such as Native language books and language learning tools are donated for pre-installation on OLPC devices and servers.
To learn more: http://www.olpccanada.com/
The decline of indigenous languages is part of the tragic legacy of Canada's residential school system. Mike Parkhill, founder of indigenous language advocacy website SayitFirst.ca, and Brent Tookenay, CEO of Seven Generations Educational Institute, are working together to change the tide. They join The Agenda in the Summer to discuss how technology and community can help revitalize indigenous languages.
Mike Parkhill, founder of sayITFirst, interviewed on AMI Accessible Media Inc. on July 21, 2016. “Language is the tool we use to build self identity in aboriginal youth.”