UNBC is partnering with UBC to preserve First Nations digital archives. The Northern BC Archives division is converting the oral carrier language played on cassettes to digital recordings.
Similar to a game of ‘telephone,’ stories passed on from generation to generation are sometimes changed in their meaning. However, UNBC Librarian, Allan Wilson, says by taking a recording, the original message can stay true for aboriginals. “The purpose it to reach out into those communities, provide them with a kit and the training, and to suss out those recordings of oral histories or even create new stories for the future.”
The audio kits will take the Carrier Language recordings on outdated audio formats and restore them to digital so they will be able to last for years to come. “They may be genealogical recordings, they may be family stories, it may even be a more sensitive story, but what we’re trying to do is just facilitate that transition to the modern format,” Wilson said.
Digitization project like this will provide students the ability to learn and even write a number of indigenous languages. UNBC Manager of Aboriginal Student Engagement, Beverly Isaac, says the initiative will share First Nations culture to future generations and provide advancements in teaching methods for students. ‘I don’t know my language. I think if we had access to digitized languages, from my ancestors, my grandmother, or my great grandmother, it would be able to help future generations learn their language.”