Promoting Indigenous Language and Culture in the Higher Education Establishments in Estrie.

Project Awikhiganisaskak

The Awikhiganisaskak Project takes it’s name after the Abenaki word which refers to a space to store books (cabinet, library). The grant provided by the PRESE has mobilised higher education establishments in Estrie and the Grand Council of the Waban-Aki Nation around creating a documentation and promotion centre for Abenaki culture. A coordinator and teacher of the Abenaki language has organised a network and a repertoire of existing documented resources such as audio cassettes and CDs with valuable Abenaki language material.

Digital transfer and scrubbing of these cassettes and CDs has been done thanks to generous funding by The Abenaki Council of Odanak. This work serves as a testing ground for the project, which would like to extend the expertise to other Indigenous languages in Quebec. The team has also established a fruitful partnership with the Nouvelle-France numérique project, a research team financed by the SSHRC.

This project focuses on the transcription of manuscripts from the New-France era using a transcription software called Transkribus. This collaboration has given access to ancient documents such as Les dictionnaires des pères Rasles (1691), Aubéry (1715), and La Brosse (1760). Some of the members of the Awikhiganisaskak Project have undergone training to use Transkribus and have been invited to participate in the transcription committee.

The grant offered by the PRESE has made it possible to establish the foundations of the project and to obtain a grant of $220,000 from Canadian Heritage in the fall of 2021. You can find more information about the Awikhiganisaskak Project here.

This project was made possible thanks to $49 300 of PRESE financial support, as part of the 2020 call for research proposals.

We talk about the project