- Kaska Cards app, invented by the Liard First Nation, has approximately 700 words and common phrases.
- The Liard First Nation language unit team helped make the Kaska Cards app to make the language more convenient.
A new app to make an Indigenous language more convenient and easier to learn was founded last week in Watson Lake, Yukon.
The Kaska Cards app, developed by the Liard First Nation, has hundreds of Kaska words and phrases.
“[We’re] expecting that it gets maybe more people interested in the language,” said Martina Volfova, director of Liard First Nation’s language unit.
The division won an award from Canada’s premiers in 2020 for its decades of work in promoting and maintaining the Kaska language.
Volfova calculates approximately 25 people in the Watson Lake site that speak Kaska fluently and another 30 in Ross River, Yukon.
She added there are also numerous “silent speakers,” Liard First Nation citizens who are restricted in their ability to speak it but have a high degree of knowledge.
“They’re usually individuals who went to residential school and experienced trauma for speaking their language,” she described. “There are likely many people like that,” she stated.
There are five Kaska First Nations in Canada, two in Yukon and three in British Columbia. According to the 2016 Canada census, 1,440 individuals reported having Kaska origin.
Volfova stated the idea of creating the app began years back.
“We were just thinking about what is required for learners, what might be missing, [what] tools could be added,” she stated.
She illustrated that many people noted they use paper flashcards for studying languages.
That’s when the team in the language unit got the idea of creating audio flashcards people could use on their electronic gadgets “so they could practice [with] the flashcards and hear the sounds and practice the sounds,” said Volfova.
Source – cbc.ca