A Documentary Series About Aboriginal Languages on Canadian TV

Margaret Florey margaret.florey at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 21 21:27:59 UTC 2009

Dear RNLDers,

Pat Shaw (Director, First Nations Languages Program, UBC) forwarded the
following information about a season of films about indigenous languages
which is about to be screened on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television
Network) in Canada.

kind regards,
Margaret Florey



Montreal, Quebec - Every fourteen days a language dies. By the year 2100
more than half of the world's languages will disappear. These are tough
statistics, but it doesn't have to be that way. Indigenous people everywhere
are fighting to beat the odds. It's a remarkable story told in the exciting
new documentary series Finding Our Talk 3, set to premiere on APTN
(Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) on Wednesday April 1st at 10:30 PM
Eastern Time.

Finding Our Talk 3 is a continuing documentary series of 13 half hour
episodes produced by Mushkeg Media Inc. that looks at the state of
Aboriginal languages both within Canada and the boarder indigenous world.
The series discovers and shares their successes by focusing on and
celebrating the many individuals, communities and organizations that are
reclaiming their language, and along with it, their culture, their stories
and often, their very existence as a people.

In the first two seasons, the series focused on Aboriginal languages in
Canada. In Season 3, Finding Our Talk goes beyond borders to look at the
state of indigenous languages like Sami, Mayan, Quechan, Maori,
Gumbaynggirr, Arrente, Hawaiian, Chitimacha, as well as languages like
Mi'gmaq, Abenaki and Anishnabe that are closer to home. It looks at the
effects new technologies and methods play in language revitalization, as a
new generation takes up the responsibilities of language preservation in
their home communities.

Finding Our Talk 3 will be airing from April 1st to June 24th, every
Wednesday night at:

9:30pm PT (if you're in Vancouver)
10:30pm MT/CT (if you're in Edmonton/Regina)
11:30pm CT (if you're in Winnipeg)
10:30pm ET (if you're in Toronto/Montreal)
11:30pm AT (if you're in Halifax)

The series is also available in HD broadcast on APTN HD (Bell ExpressVu,
Channel 808), starting on: Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 @ 11:00am ET,
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 @ 2:00pm ET, Thursday March 26th, 2009 @ 2:30am
and Friday, March 27th, 2009 @ 2:00pm ET.

The documentary crews spent five months traveling to various countries such
as New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Guatemala, Bolivia, USA and Canada to
bring these remarkable stories of language revitalization, preservation and
promotion. The first four episodes that are scheduled to air as follows:


Broadcast date: April 1, 2009

Rapid Lake, an Algonquin community where most people still speak Anishnabe
is divided between the traditionalists and the federally appointed band
council. In the neighbouring community of Kiticiaskik, which has always
refused reserve status, a young videographer uses his skills to revive
culture and language.

"An internal separation occurred that affected families, and since then, a
linguistic divide exists in the community. A lot of damage has stemmed from
the residential schools, so as a result, the language and culture were
neglected. Today that generation is in their 40s and 50s and they've managed
to reclaim their language and culture, but most parents here speak French
with their children.
It's become a habit." - Kevin Papatie videographer, coordinator, Studio
Midaweski, Kiticiaskik, Quebec


Broadcast date: April 8, 2009

A Mi'maq community that lost its language as it gained economic prosperity
takes advantage of two powerful tools to help bring the language back into
everyday use. One is a unique picture based teaching method, and the other
is the support of the elders.

"The language helps you think differently. It is a native way of thinking. I
tell my children, 'If you don't have your language how can you call yourself
native?' It's difficult to say, but it's the truth. As a speaker, you know
you think differently." - Gail Mettalic, Executive Director, Listiguj
Education Directorate, Listiguj, Quebec


Broadcast date: April 15, 2009

The Abenaki language has managed to survive the past several generations
with only one speaker, like Cecile Wawanolette or Monique Nolette-Ille, per
generation teaching a mere handful of students in Odanak or the eastern
United States. Today their students, Philippe Charland and Brent Reader,
maintain the thin lifeline to this endangered language.

"There (are) 6 fluent Abenaki speakers: 3 in Canada and 3 in the US. So I
mean you can't get much more endangered than that." - Nancy Milette, Chief
of the Koasaek Band of the Koas, Vermont


Broadcast date: April 22, 2009

Can the 'wired teepee' help save the Ktunaxa language in the Kootenays? The
Ktunaxa people are going to find out because these days this unique, ancient
language is heard coming from computers, tape recorders, the Internet, video
cameras, and iPods.

"Our elder was a visionary, when she told us that if we felt that we had
lost so much within that (residential school) building, that it was up to us
to go back in there and take it back. What she was telling us is that you
don't lose your language and culture because somebody's taken it away. You
lose it when you refuse to pick it up yourself. Today, our young people have
that ability cause we have all the technology for picking our language back
up again and making it useful for everyday use." - Sophie Pierre, Chief of
the Ktunaxa Nation, Cranbrook, British Columbia.

The documentary series is produced by Mushkeg Media Inc. an Aboriginal-owned
production company working with First Nations directors and crews. Finding
Our Talk 3 is being produced in English, along with French and Mohawk
language versions, with special attention to the various languages presented
for broadcast on APTN and Maori TV.

For more information about Mushkeg Media and to view clips from Finding Our
Talk seasons 1 & 2 and well as upcoming episode descriptions of season
three, visit us at: www.mushkeg.ca

For media information and interviews, please contact:

Sherren Lee
Telephone: 514 279 3507 - Email: sherren at mushkeg.ca
Mushkeg Media Inc.
103 Villeneuve Ouest
Montreal, QC
H2T 2R6 Canada
mushkeg at videotron.ca

Margaret Florey
Margaret.Florey at gmail.com
Ph: +61 (0)4 3186-3727 (mob.)
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