Odawa Native Friendship Centre
Early Years Algonquin Language and Cultural Introduction
The Odawa Native Friendship Centre originally aimed to create a series of recordings of Algonquin elders speaking language for young viewers. However, with pandemic restrictions in place and the need to protect elders, the Odawa Friendship Centre modified the program and has instead brought the Early Years Algonquin Language and Cultural Introduction program online for viewers with little ones between the ages of 0-6.
For many viewers, these language lessons are their first-time hearing and learning to pronounce words. By centering the lessons around everyday words and phrases such as greetings, counting to 10, daily phrases for napping and waking up, the program encourages the daily use of the language.
The videos were created for young minds to cultivate engagement with language and takes the approach of immersing young ones in cultural learning via video. The videos are also shared with network of Indigenous childcare facilities in the region.
With the change in program, the Friendship Centre was also able to expand to include words and phrases in Mohawk and Cree language. The lessons included animal names, counting, Special Day messages, the colours and more. The program not only helped bring language and culture into many homes across the Ottawa region, but it also helped build confidence and capacity in staff by encouraging them to use language daily and teaching them to include culture in program planning on a regular basis.
You can check out some of the language videos on the Odawa Native Friendship Centre Facebook page here.