UBC Hosts BC Breath of Life Archival Institute for First Nations Languages

June 9, 2017

The inaugural BC Breath of Life Archival Institute for First Nations Languages was held at UBC from May 14-20, under the Directorship of Patricia A. Shaw and Organizing Committee members Jorge Emilio Rosés Labrada and Daisy Rosenblum, in close collaboration with Advisory Board members Elder Larry Grant, Jill Campbell, Marny Point, Vanessa Campbell, and Grace Point from the Musqueam Indian Band Language and Culture Department.
20 participants from First Nations communities across the province joined UBC faculty, staff, and students to work together in language teams, exploring the rich repositories of archival manuscripts, audio-visual resources, and museum holdings relevant to 13 different languages from 6 genetically distinct language families that were represented by the group. Students from our FNEL 389 Collaborative Heritage Research in First Nations Languages: Practicum & Workshop and 481 Heritage Resources in Endangered First Nations Language Revitalization courses contributed significantly to the success of this BC Breath of Life Archival Institute through the creation of language resource guides, annotated bibliographies, games for exploring specific aspects of language structure, and through their generosity and time commitment in working with the participants to access and interpret the diversity of relevant materials housed in diverse units at UBC. Their contributions were vital to the success of the Institute, and were greatly appreciated!

The exciting schedule of events, lectures, capacity-building technology workshops, alongside of the archival and curatorial visits across campus is posted on our website, including links to videos of the public addresses by Leanne Hinton and Daryl Baldwin. On the final day, each language team did a presentation of some aspect of the discoveries they had made through their collaborative work during the week. Stay tuned for video excerpts from these final presentations!

The host committee is deeply grateful to the funding agencies that sponsored the BC Breath of Life and to the many collaborators at UBC for their generous support.

To learn more, please visit http://bcbreathoflife.arts.ubc.ca.