By DENISE TITIAN
January 14, 2016 – An Ehattesaht language revitalization group has turned to modern music technology in an effort to attract new learners of the Ehattesaht language.
Victoria Wells has worked for many years with her Ehattesaht elders to reinvigorate the language of the Ehattesaht-Chinehkint, which was nearly eradicated during the residential school era.
In 2007, she made a presentation to Ehattesaht/Chinehkint and Nuchatlaht language learners as part of a First Voices training workshop. It was the start of the development of teaching tools that would help new language learners from younger generations.
One of the latest teaching tools developed is the first Ehattesaht Language Revitalization Album, which was inspired by the tenacity of elders who work with willing youth and children, said Wells.
“It is their vision and goal to share ancient knowledge with everyone in a way that speaks to them,” she explained.
The new album takes selected phrases spoken by Ehattesaht/Chinehkint elders, replaying the phrase repeatedly to the beat of soft, electronica music, created by Crystal DJ Kwe Favel.
“It is a language learning tool that blends the ancient with the experimental,” said Wells.
Putting ancient Nuu-chah-nulth phrases to contemporary music should appeal to young learners and help them memorize the language.
“Not only will this style of audio storytelling span over generations and encourage the freedom of oral traditional practices, but it also addresses the challenge of how to combine the latest tech trends with learning traditional languages, within a limited budget, and advance our inherent rights to intellectual freedom,” reads the album press release.
READ FULL ARTICLE: Ha-Shilth-Sa,. “Ehattesaht Language Revitalization Goes Electronica“. N. p., 2016. Web. 15 Jan. 2016.