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first peoples ’

news SUMMER 2017

in this issue 1 FPCC Announces the Recipients of 2016/17 Arts Funding 2 Exciting News from FirstVoices: New Apps and Website Coming Soon 3 Update: Communities Discuss Opportunity for Indigenous Language Legislation 4 FPCC Success Story: Language Revitalization Planning Program 5 The First Peoples’ Cultural Council Takes Action On its Heritage Mandate 6 FPCC Arts Review: Results and Recommendations from the Community 8 Our Living Languages Exhibition to Remain Open Indefinitely 9 FPCC Success Story: the Silent Speaker Pilot Project 10 New Language Resources Available for Indigenous Communities 11 Meet FPCC’s New Chair and Board Members 11 Rachel Perkins Joins FPCC’s Language Team

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FPCC Announces the Recipients of 2016/2017 ARTS FUNDING We are excited to announce that $971,150 in funding has been awarded to Indigenous artists in B.C. through the Aboriginal Arts Development Awards (AADA) and the Aboriginal Youth Engaged in the Arts (AYEA) programs. Of 111 applications, 75 arts projects were selected to receive funding for the 2016/17 program year. A full list of recipients can be found on our website: www.fpcc.ca/arts/programs FPCC grants support First Nations and Indigenous arts through five programs: Individual Emerging Artists, Organizations and Collectives, Sharing Traditional Arts Across Generations, Arts Administrator Internships and Aboriginal Youth Engaged in the Arts. Proposals are accepted annually from Indigenous artists in B.C. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to their practice in any discipline – visual, music, dance, theatre, literary or media arts – and can work in traditional and experimental forms. “It’s always inspiring to see the range of talented and dedicated applicants, and to see the brilliant work being done,” says Arts Program Manager, Cathi Charles Wherry. “Thankfully, increased support for several programs has allowed us to distribute grants to more projects than ever before. There is a growing under-

Courtesy of Lynette La Fontaine, who received an Individual Emerging Artist grant from FPCC in 2015/16.

standing of, and value for, the creative work of Aboriginal artists.” Application forms and guidelines will be available on the FPCC website this summer for 2017/18 funding, with an October 31, 2017 deadline for all programs. To see this year’s grant recipients please head over to our website and click on “Arts!” You can also check out the First Peoples’ Arts Map to see the last four years of FPCC arts grant recipients plotted on a map of B.C. Visit: www.fp-artsmap.ca/grants

Exciting News from FirstVoices: NEW APPS AND WEBSITE COMING SOON UPGRADES TO FIRSTVOICES DICTIONARY APPS We are excited to announce that we are in the process of rolling out one new dictionary app and are making upgrades to all 12 existing FirstVoices dictionary apps! The new Líľwat – Ucwalmicwts app, and updated Halq’emeylem and SENĆOŦEN apps are already available; the remaining dictionary apps will all be available for download for the first time in

both Android – and existing iOS – in the summer of 2017. For all dictionary apps, users will now be able to: sort words and phrases by categories, bookmark items for later viewing and use the app to make flashcards – making it even easier to use your phone as a learning and teaching device wherever you are.

USE YOUR PHONE TO WRITE IN YOUR LANGUAGE WITH FIRSTVOICES KEYBOARDS Did you know that you can download the FirstVoices Keyboards app to your Apple or Android mobile device? This means that you can write emails, send text messages and create other documents in your language for free! Since June 2016, when the new app launched, we have had 12,152 downloads – 9,565 for iOS and 2,587 for Android. FirstVoices Keyboards supports every First Nations language in Canada and New Zealand, plus some Indigenous


languages in Australia and the USA. Our hope is that the app will continue to fill the gap that exists between Indigenous writing systems and mobile technologies. We’re looking forward to seeing the creative and everyday ways that you use your language on your mobile devices! Feel free to say “hello” on Facebook or Twitter in your language using the tag #fvkeyboards. Download your free FirstVoices Keyboards app: www.firstvoices.com/en/apps

Download your free dictionary app: www.firstvoices.com/en/apps Don’t have a dictionary app for your language? Contact apps@firstvoices.com for more information.

A NEW FIRSTVOICES WEBSITE IS LAUNCHING IN THE FALL OF 2017! We have been consulting with Indigenous communities and users of FirstVoices across B.C., through focus groups and beta testing, to find out how to improve the site. The result will be a new version of the site that is faster, with improved search functionality and more flexible ways to enter your data. Stay tuned for more information!

Update: Communities Discuss Opportunity for INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE LEGISLATION on June 22 and 23 in Vancouver. Several language revitalization specialists from B.C and Yukon made presentations on effective language revitalization strategies, and an Indigenous legislation expert talked about the legal aspects of developing legislation in Canada. Over 150 people attended the two-day session, including First Nations leaders and community language champions. More sessions are planned for all other regions across Canada.

Language champions from around B.C. gathered in Richmond on May 31, 2017 to share ideas about the proposed federal language legislation and effective language revitalization strategies. (L-R: Marcia Piercey, Liz Charyna, Khelsilem and Frances Brown)

In May and June, FPCC held five regional sessions across B.C. to talk about the promised Indigenous language legislation for Canada, which is being led by the Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH). Over 200 people attended these sessions, held in Kelowna, Prince George, Richmond, Nanaimo and Terrace. The goal was to ensure that B.C. language experts would be well-informed and know about the opportunities to provide input, in preparation for the engagement sessions held by DCH and the AFN. FPCC will be compiling and sharing a report based on the information that we gathered at these sessions, and we encourage First Nations communities to develop their own position papers to

submit to the Canadian Heritage Minister, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, and Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. LANGUAGE LEGISLATION ANNOUNCEMENT AND AFN ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS In a joint announcement on June 15, 2017, DCH and the AFN announced that they would be co-developing national Indigenous language legislation, which will be introduced into Canada’s Parliament in 2018. Chief Ronald Ignace is the representative for B.C. on the AFN’s Chief’s Committee on Languages. The AFN hosted a B.C./Yukon engagement session on the language legislation

HOW TO PROVIDE INPUT Don’t worry if you missed any of the sessions to-date – there’s still time to provide input! A language legislation website has been set up by FPCC, which includes information about existing language legislation from Canada and around the globe. Visit www.fpcc.ca/ language/legislation for more information and resources. The AFN has also provided background information related to language legislation on its website: www. afn.ca/en/indigenous-languages-initiativeassembly-of-first-nations-engagement-s NEW FUNDING FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF CANADIAN HERITAGE At the sessions, we also talked about the new federal language funding that will be rolling out starting in 2017, and how we can prepare to effectively invest this new money. This language funding will be targeted at community-based projects. Keep watching the website and our social media (Facebook and Twitter) for more information and updates about the language legislation and new federal funding – as soon as we have any more information, we will share it widely!



Some of the members of the Intercommunity hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Language Planning Committee at one of their planning meetings in Kwikwetlem last fall.

The Intercommunity hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Language Revitalization Planning Committee (IHLRPC) has been a model for collaboration since the beginning. The project began in 2013 when the Musqueam Indian Band first applied for funding from FPCC’s Language Revitalization Planning Program (LRPP) to work with the Kwantlen and Katzie First Nations. The following year, the Kwikwetlem First Nation joined the group and received funding. In 2015, Katzie First Nation stepped forward to be the lead applicant on the LRRP as the four nations continued the work. Previously, there had been no mechanism in place to allow the four hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking communities to work together to share knowledge and resources, bring a diverse team of people 4

with different strengths and backgrounds to the table to move the work forward, share funding and maximize the impact of each language project. “Working with other Nations that share the same language has added tremendous strength to the project,” says a member of the IHLRPC. “Each nation comes from a different place in the language revitalization process and brings a different skillset and a diversity of perspectives on language revitalization.” “We would recommend that all Nations completing this type of project aim to work collaboratively with other communities that share the same language.” With funding provided by FPCC, the committee has been able to meet on a regular basis (rotating locations each time they met), develop a vision statement for

the language, a mission statement and terms of reference for the committee, and a language revitalization plan; they have also completed language surveys in each of the four communities. “This committee has shown that it’s possible for communities to collaborate in a positive way, to share resources and speakers between communities and build their capacity through partnership,” says Aliana Parker, Language Programs Manager at FPCC. “They have been able to put differences aside to work together to revitalize their language as a whole.” Funding for the Language Revitalization Planning Program is offered once a year, in the spring. For more information, visit: www.fpcc.ca/language/programs

The First Peoples’ Cultural Council TAKES ACTION ON ITS HERITAGE MANDATE

“We look forward to continuing the conversation and creating more opportunities for Indigenous heritage to flourish.” —Tracey Herbert, CEO at FPCC. Photo courtesy of the Royal BC Museum.

Heritage is an important part of FPCC’s legislated mandate, which also includes language, arts and culture. Here are two events we have been involved in over the past year, which have sparked new and ongoing conversations related to heritage, repatriation and reconciliation. INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES ON REPATRIATION SYMPOSIUM In March, we co-hosted the “Indigenous Perspectives on Repatriation” symposium in Kelowna with the Royal BC Museum. The event attracted more than 200 delegates and 40 presenters from Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural

organizations, as well as museum and archives professionals, academic scholars and government reps. Participants discussed past and current repatriation efforts, why returning ancestral remains and sacred objects is so important, and next steps. Other areas with deep connections to repatriation were also part of the conversation, including Indigenous self-determination, language revitalization and reconciliation. HERITAGE: IMAGINING FUTURES CONFERENCE “In a fast-paced and quickly changing world, it is easy to think we are living

on the edge of the future. But what of the past? How will heritage fit into the future?” These are some of the questions asked at “Heritage, Imagining Futures,” a conference held in Victoria in May and hosted by Heritage BC. Registration was free for First Nations participants and we had the opportunity to host a workshop with heritage professionals that included exploring how they could be more inclusive of Indigenous heritage. Each workshop participant was asked to make a commitment to “reconcili-action” over the next year! Visit our online heritage toolkit: www.fpcc.ca/culture/heritage-toolkit 5

Results and Recommendations from the Community: FPCC ARTS REVIEW

Amazing turnout and great feedback from this group at the community consultation session on FPCC’s arts program in Prince Rupert.

In 2016, FPCC, with the support of the BC Arts Council, conducted a program review of its two arts funding programs – the Aboriginal Arts Development Awards, and Aboriginal Youth Engaged in the Arts. More than 200 artists, arts organizations and jurors participated in one of 10 regional community meetings (in Williams Lake, Prince George, Vancouver, Chilliwack, Courtenay, Victoria, Westbank/Kelowna, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, and Tofino), 14 interviews and an online survey. The program review asked community members about the needs of the Indigenous arts community in B.C., and FPCC’s performance in supporting the arts and artists in the province. Overall, FPCC received an excellent review. According to the report that came out of the sessions, “FPCC can be proud of the support it provides to artists and


arts organizations, which is demonstrated in diverse, culturally-grounded and dynamically evolving Indigenous arts in B.C.” Here are some highlights: OUTREACH Almost 75% of those surveyed said that FPCC is promoting its programs somewhat, very or extremely effectively. Overall, participants felt that FPCC “has a strong connection with a respect” for urban and rural communities. It was suggested that FPCC could travel to more regions (which is currently limited by funding), provide support for artists to attend conferences, and facilitate greater public computer and internet access. APPLICATION PROCESS Participants said that the application process “is effective in providing potential applicants with the information and

support they need to prepare strong applications.” Almost 70% of individual artists agreed that FPCC was either very or extremely helpful in this regard. However, some participants also said that filling out funding applications is generally very challenging and that they could use more help during the grant writing process. ADJUDICATION PROCESS For all of its programs, FPCC convenes juries of impartial peers to review applications for funding. Jury members are vetted to avoid conflicts of interest and are asked to step out of discussions where there is a conflict. Overall jurors thought that the process was efficient, transparent, professional and had integrity. Also, 75% of “artists and organizations were aware that their application was peer reviewed,” while 25% were not.

“FPCC can be proud of the support it provides to artists and arts organizations, which is demonstrated in diverse, culturallygrounded and dynamically evolving Indigenous arts in B.C.” —Participant in FPCC’s Arts Program Review

PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS AND RELEVANCE Overall, participants felt that that they benefited from FPCC funding. A huge majority (100% of organizations, 100% of jurors and 88% of artists) said they would recommend FPCC programs. Some of those surveyed indicated that FPCC programs “increased their knowledge, skills and ability to mentor others.” Artists also confirmed that the arts funding offered through FPCC was relevant to the needs of “Indigenous artists and communities.” It was also noted that FPCC “values and supports Indigenous protocols, art forms and expressions, and connections to tradition, culture, spirituality and the land” in a way that other funders cannot. COMMUNITY NEEDS AND SOLUTIONS This section talks about current priority needs and solutions currently and those that community members want identified in the future. Here are a few highlights (more detail can be found in the report): • Training and mentorship is important and there were both short- and longterm needs identified to support a wide variety of things such as transmission of Elder’s knowledge and workshops in rural communities. • Community and spaces were also discussed. Community members said that they would like to be able to connect and work with each other through both “real and virtual arts spaces.”

Kyla Schorneck from FPCC doing the welcome at the arts program review community session at the Native Education College in Vancouver.

• Promotion, outreach and engagement was also pointed out as an important issue. A number of potential improvements were suggested, including promoting availability of staff to help with applications and reaching more youth. • Financial support and compensation were discussed. Among other things, participants asked that FPCC materials draw attention to available BC Arts Council funding and develop a program for mid-career and Elder artists. There were a number of “next steps” identified in the report, which include summarizing the potential program changes, determining what changes to make and then implementing and monitoring those changes. Additional suggestions to develop new funding

programs will require research into funding options, coordinating with other organizations, staff recruitment and more. To view the report, visit: www.fpcc.ca/about-us/publications


Our Living Languages Exhibition TO REMAIN OPEN INDEFINITELY

The “language forest” welcomes visitors to the Our Living Languages exhibition at the Royal BC Museum. Visitors can press a button on each “tree” to hear a greeting in the language they’ve selected. Photos courtesy of the Royal BC Museum.

We are excited to announce that the Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in BC exhibition will not close in June, as was expected, but will stay open for the foreseeable future. The exhibition launched in June 21, 2014, National Aboriginal Day, at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. It celebrates the richness, beauty and diversity of First Nations languages in B.C., while telling the remarkable story of the resilience of these languages and efforts to revitalize them through hard work and perseverance. It has been a popular exhibition at the museum.


The Our Living Languages exhibition was created through a partnership between FPCC and the Royal BC Museum (RBCM). FPCC worked in partnership with communities to develop the exhibition’s content, while RBCM managed the design and construction. If you have not yet been able to experience this visually stunning and moving exhibition, we encourage you to visit it now to find out more about Indigenous languages in B.C. Visit the virtual version of OLL: www.learning.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/ pathways/our-living-languages/

‘Storytellers and Language Keepers’ by Jaalen Edenshaw, on display in the Our Living Languages exhibition.


Silent Speaker Program participants from the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Centre) Society. Thanks to Jackie for this photo.

This excerpt of “Pilot project works to recover Splatsin language” has been reprinted with permission from RiverTalk. — The Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Centre) Society continues to take steps to reclaim the Secwepemc language. The most recent effort, a two-month pilot project called “Silent Speakers,” wrapped up March 31 with lunch for the eight participants and their families. Silent Speakers focused on older adults who have an understanding of the language, but are not active speakers. Participants spent a half day each week with their Elder mentor, listening and learning from hearing the language spoken, and another half day each week in a class environment, working with the other participants.

Rosalind Williams, language programs coordinator at the centre, participated in the program and is passionate about her work to reclaim the Secwepemc language. Just six Splatsin Elders are left who are fluent speakers, and all are well into their senior years, something that is common in many First Nation communities, Rosalind noted. “We jumped on board as a pilot project,” she said. “It is something other B.C. communities can take on.” The program was offered by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, with funding from the First Nations Health Authority. Based on a program used in Sweden and Norway, Silent Speakers uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help participants overcome language blocks and start speaking the language again.

Most participants expressed a desire to speak more Secwepemc at home, gained confidence, and want to continue learning the language – which is the goal. As an added bonus, the Elder mentors got to enjoy more company, sharing and outings. — Editor’s note: FPCC has recently produced a new handbook to support the Silent Speaker program: Reclaiming My Language: A Course for Silent Speakers and is seeking funding to run the program in communities across B.C.


New Language Resources FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES The Language Team has been busy over the past few months! Do you need help applying for FPCC funding? Do you have a language nest, or want to start one? Are you looking for more information about FPCC’s Mentor-Apprentice program? Check out these new language resources! LANGUAGE GRANT WRITING VIDEO This video offers an in-depth overview of how to write successful proposals for FPCC’s language grant programs. As a viewer, you will be taken on a step-bystep journey through the grant-writing process to help you understand FPCC’s grant-writing guidelines and support you to submit a strong language grant application.

LANGUAGE NEST ONLINE TRAINING COURSE This online course was designed to provide First Nations communities with information on how to launch and maintain a successful language nest. The training course will provide you with an overview of the language nest program, as well as tips and strategies for implementing a strong and successful language nest in your community. MENTOR-APPRENTICE INFORMATIONAL VIDEO This video offers a short but to-the-point overview of the Mentor-Apprentice Program. It focuses on the heart of the program: using language immersion to build language fluency!

The Mentor-Apprentice informational video provides more information about the program and how it creates fluent speakers.

To see these resources and more, visit: www.fpcc.ca/language/toolkit/resources We are always interested in your feedback about our resources. Send your comments to info@fpcc.ca.

CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY WITH A MEME CHALLENGE February 21 is International Mother Language Day, a day founded to promote and celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity around the world. It was launched in 1999 and formally recognized by the UN General Assembly to recognize 2008’s International Year of Languages. This year, FPCC celebrated the day by co-organizing a month-long campaign called the Mother Language Meme Challenge with other language organizations from around the world. We asked our online community to join the movement by creating an original meme in their language, adding the hashtag #MemeML and sharing it on social media with others around the world.


Here are a couple of our favourite entries:

“One, two, three four – hurry and raise your hands!”

Posted by Charrine Lace – Wet’suwet’en language

Posted by Pewi Tłakwasgamgi'lakw Alfred – kwak̓wala language

Meet FPCC’s NEW CHAIR AND BOARD MEMBERS FPCC IS HONOURED TO WELCOME CYNTHIA CALLISON AS ITS BOARD CHAIR! Cynthia joined FPCC’s Board of Directors in 2015 and became Chair in 2016. Cynthia is a member of the Crow Clan in the Tāłtān Nation (Dene). She graduated from the Sauder School of Business and the Allard School of Law at UBC and completed a Master’s degree in Constitutional Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Cynthia is a founding partner of Callison & Hanna, a law firm that focuses on working toward the well-being of First Nations communities. She regularly visits her home territory in the Stikine River Watershed and participates in traditional ceremonies and practices.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Cynthia Callison chair Linda Bristol vice chair Konrad Thiele treasurer Cynthia Jensen Fisk secretary Jaskwaan Bedard Shain Jackson Dr. Peter Jacobs Dr. Trish Rosborough Rachel Holmes government seat

Cynthia Callison, FPCC Board Chair

Advisory, Board and staff gathered for the Annual General Meeting in Richmond in 2016.


Rachel Perkins Joins FPCC’S LANGUAGE TEAM

Rachel Perkins on her first day at the First Peoples’ Cultural Council.

Rachel Perkins is a member of the Métis Nation with Scottish, Coast Salish, Ojibwe and Shoshone ancestry. After completing her Sociology and History degree at the University of Victoria, Rachel worked at the Butchart Gardens and the B.C. government, and brings both private and public sector experience to her new role in FPCC’s language revitalization program. “Working with Indigenous communities, and Indigenous youth in particular, has become a passion for me. I’m excited

to help facilitate the learning of Indigenous languages for the next generation in any way I can. Where you find the language, you find the history, culture and traditional knowledge of the community – those connections are so important.” Rachel likes to spend her free time road-tripping around Turtle Island, watching baseball and drinking coffee. She also volunteers with the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, teaching workshops on youth entrepreneurship, and the Angli-

Published by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council 1A Boat Ramp Road, Brentwood Bay, B.C. V8M 1N9, Canada tel 250-652-5952 fax 250-652-5953 website www.fpcc.ca

We wish to acknowledge the funders whose financial support has contributed to our success: Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, New Relationship Trust, Department of Canadian Heritage, BC Arts Council, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, First Peoples' Cultural Foundation.

editor Megan Lappi, megan@fpcc.ca writers Heather James, Megan Lappi, Rachel Perkins and Jackie Pearase layout Backyard Creative Join the conversation! www.facebook.com/firstpeoplesculturalcouncil www.twitter.com/_FPCC


can Parish of Central Saanich, where she teaches Indigenous history and cultural competency to people seeking the information they weren’t taught in school. Rachel will be assisting the FPCC language team with the coordination of all elements of the language funding programs, including training, resource development and application support.

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FPCC Newsletter Summer 2017  

FPCC's latest newsletter is now available! Read the latest news about FPCC's programs, new resources and community success stories.

FPCC Newsletter Summer 2017  

FPCC's latest newsletter is now available! Read the latest news about FPCC's programs, new resources and community success stories.

Profile for fpcc