Miyo Wahkohtowin Community Education Authority (MWCEA) and Dr. Earle Waugh Dir. Center for Culture & Health Family Medicine, University of Alberta (U of A) are partnering to develop a web based interactive First Nations language portal with dictionary and curriculum based resources to further the development for Cree language in Canada. The Cree Language Resource Project (CLRP) dictionary will have the ability to translate words from English to Cree in Syllabics and Roman Orthography (Cree written in English) with explanation of how it fits in a sentence. The translated word will be associated with a picture, sound and a video clip. The goal of the project is to promote the learning and preservation of the Cree language. The online dictionary will have the ability to accommodate different regional Cree dialects.
In addition to translation function the system will allow the creation of flash cards and storyboard using the picture and the words (syllabics and English) from the database. Others features will be managed educational games such as word matching and puzzles. These games will have testing component to assess student learning. The system will include a database of Cree language lesson plans that will guide teachers in integrating First Nation Languages in the curriculum.
Dr. Waugh will provide the Alberta Elders' Cree Dictionary and his expertise in developing this work. MWCEA will bring an educational perspective and a user friendly concern to the creation of this language portal, with the goal to have the website as a tool to enhance and support Cree language program. Dr. Waugh will commit the resources for the dictionary royalty system currently held in the Native Studies Department at the U of A to the project. MWCEA will support the development of the portal and will assemble an advisory committee from the Cree community to guide the project. The two partners agree to seek applications for funding for future of the project.
The Alberta Elders' Cree Dictionary has Hobbema roots and was initially supported by a grant from Hobbema to Sister Nancy LeClaire. She requested the participation of Dr. Waugh and worked on this project for 27 years. Dr. Waugh also incorporated the Cree vocabulary of Rev. Roger Vandersteene who worked among the Northen Cree speaker of Alberta.
Prof. Wolvengrey of the First Nations University of Canada’s Department of Indian Languages, Literatures and Linguistics has provided all data from his Cree Dictionary nêhiýawêwin: itwêwina / Cree: Words. Wolvengrey utilizes his expertise in developing this work from the print version to a web-based tool.