This week Melbourne will buzz with Indigenous languages for the 5th Puliima National Indigenous Languages and Technology Forum (14th-15th October 2015).
This year looks set to be bigger then ever with indigenous people from around Australia, the Torres Strait Islands, New Zealand and the U.S. coming together to talk about their languages and how they are using the tools of technology to help them thrive.
The conference is packed with practical demonstrations and workshops facilitated by local, interstate and international experts.
Presentations will cover topics such as: engaging the next generation of language learners; protecting rights and allowing access to indigenous language materials; rediscovering lost languages in library archives; teaching methods for indigenous languages and the launch of new language websites, maps and apps.
Due to the immense success of the workshops held in Puliima 2013, this year they will be held again preceding the conference. These free workshops have grown immensely, this year seeing almost a double in the number of delegates plus an increase in the variety and number of workshop options, which range from recording and transcribing language to building digital books.
The palawa kani Language Program team from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre will describe their experiences of first, devising and producing two digital APPs and then, building them into existing and new language activities in Aboriginal Children’s Centres, youth programs and community activities.
Travelling from Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico, USA are teachers Patricia Sandoval and Virginia Velasquez with students Dominik Morning Dove and Jacob Valdez who will present on a learner-driven intergenerational learning course supporting languages of their Pueblos including Keres, Tewa, Towa, Tiwa, Zuni, Apache and Navajo. They will showcase their students journey to language competence but will also reflect on how it is difficult to find language teachers who are certified to teach all of these languages in a school setting.
Daryn McKenny is manager of the Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre in Newcastle, which coordinates the forum. Daryn believes that there needs to be a wide range of approaches to both conservation and teaching because the language situation varies so much in the different parts of Australia.
“Our languages are still disappearing as fast as ever, but the efforts to halt this loss are as strong as ever. We are very proud that Puliima will showcase these success stories and the methods being used to continue to encourage, empower and foster the use of and saving of some of the worlds oldest languages” says Daryn.
An exciting addition to the conference will be the second “Australia’s Got Language Talent Contest” which aims to showcase deadly Aboriginal Australian talents performing in Aboriginal Language https://vimeo.com/136674165
The William Angliss Conference Centre in Melbourne will once again provide the venue for Puliima 2015, following on from Newcastle in 2007, Melbourne in 2009, Brisbane in 2011 and Melbourne 2013.
Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre
Miromaa Language Centre was formed in 2003, since then their activities have grown to the point where they are involved in some manner with over 150 language activities around Australia, their support extends to supporting many International language activities as well.