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The Musée Héritage Museum presents “First Languages”


October 31, 2023 - February 24, 2024    
All Day


Musee Heritage Museum
5 St. Anne St., St. Albert, Alberta, T8N 3Z9

Event Type

The Musée Héritage Museum (part of the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert) is pleased to present its latest exhibition that showcases the original oral nature of Indigenous languages, and the challenges of also transitioning them to written form. First Languages features two travelling presentations from the Canadian Language Museum, Beyond Words: Dictionaries and Indigenous Languages and Cree: The People’s Language. Beyond Words: Dictionaries and Indigenous Languages highlights the complex relationship between Indigenous languages and dictionaries over several centuries. From the earliest contact, wordlists, phrasebooks and dictionaries have been more than neutral bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous languages. They’ve also been used in colonization. In Cree: The People’s Language, visitors learn the fascinating story of Cree, the most widely spoken Canadian Indigenous language. These displays feature maps and images, exploring the syllabic writing system, word formation, animacy and the future of Cree.

A Syllabics Typewriter is also on display from the Provincial Archives of Alberta, which was once used to type documents in Cree. And, visitors will see dictionaries and books related to Cree, and displays showcasing two well-known local Métis women, Victoria Callihoo (one of the first local Métis matriarchs); and Dr. Anne Anderson, a dedicated author and teacher who was instrumental in preserving the Cree language and promoting Métis heritage.

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