After three years of development, Kenora Catholic's Anishinaabe Omiinigoziiwin Language App is available for download for free at the App Store for iOS devices. Trustees received a first-hand demonstration at their November 19 Board Meeting from Shelly Tom, First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Coordinator and Paul White, Superintendent of Instructional Services.
Shelly Tom talked about why the App was created. "Our Elders came up with the vision of the App, the icons and what they thought was important to include in the App to help support the language. They also gave us direction on the different categories to include in the App such as Body, Conversation, Clothing, Family, Colours and Animals."
Elders from many of the communities from the Treaty #3 region were involved in the Elder's Committee to provide input and guidance on the App to honour the variety of dialects in the region.
"The Elders told us right from the start that the App is to be free and a gift to the community to bring the language to life," said Shelly Tom. "They want children to use the App and share it with their families."
Download the App for iOS Devices
Go to the Apple App Store and search 'niin'
Facts about the App:
- Anishinaabe Omiinigoziiwin is the only App of its kind (available for download at the Apple App Store) in the area that provides a language resource in the local dialect of the Treaty #3 region
- The project was initiated by Sheila White, Anishinaabemowin Teacher from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, who has recently moved to Thunder Bay. White worked with Ogoki Learning Inc., Knowledge Keepers and students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School
- The process of developing the App took approximately 3 years and included the authentic voices of students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School who worked with Treaty #3 Knowledge Keepers who provided guidance on language, dialect and traditions
- The App's name Anishinaabe Omiinigoziiwin is translated to mean 'The Anishinaabe language is a gift that we were given.'
The App provides a resource in the local dialect of the Treaty #3 area to help students and their families learn the Anishinaabemowin language, traditions and culture and is already used in classrooms across the Kenora Catholic District School Board. Students and teachers at St. Thomas Aquinas High School will continue to add new language, phrases and content to the App.