New Indigenous language acquisitions

Are you an Indigenous language speaker? Are you currently enrolled in ARTS190, Introduction to Mohawk Language course? Are you interested in learning about other Indigenous languages and syllabics?

Special Collections & Archives has recently acquired 7 new items in Algonquin and Iroquoian Languages including Cree, Oneida, Ojibwe, and Seneca. Seneca and Oneida are severely endangered languages with only a few hundred fluent speakers each.

Of particular interest is the below shown Prayer Book. Although the title page indicates that the work is Oneida, a note in Pilling's "Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages" notes that although the work is intelligible to those who speak Oneida, it does not appear to be written in any known dialect.

Prayer book in Oneida

Prayer Book in Oneida, 1837, F2528

Cree Hymn Book

Cree Hymn Book, 1888, F25280

If you would like to brush up on your language skills before coming to view the items, there are number of excellent online resources such as Learn Our Language, operated by the Oneida Language and Cultural Centre in Southwold, Ontario; Onöndowa'ga:' Gawë:nö', operated by the Seneca Nation of Indians in New York; ‘Let’s Start Ojibwe’ series, a collection of Ojibwe lessons of varying levels of difficulty from Sault College's in-class language courses; the My Cree App, related to the award-winning APTN television series Tansi! Nehiyawetan.

Sault College ‘Let’s Start Ojibwe’ series: Sault College has a collection of Ojibwe lessons from its in-class language courses. The videos have many different levels of difficulties and themes, so all experience levels can find helpful resources here.

Ojebway Hymns

Ojebway Hymns, [ca. 1870], F25286

Psalm of David in Seneca

Psalm of David in Seneca, [ca. 1880], F25282

If you know of any other great resources for language learning, let us know! And if you'd like to read some of our new materials, we'd love to see you in the archives!

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