Meet Belinda Daniels, the host of the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account for September 26 – October 2

Photo provided by Belinda Daniels

In 2019 as part of a social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online, Native American and First Nations language activists and advocates will be taking turns managing the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of Native American and First Nations languages. This profile post is about Belinda Daniels (@belindadaniels9) and what she plans to discuss during her week as host.

Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.

tansi etawiya, Belinda Daniels nitisihkason. Sturgeon Lake First Nation Sk. ochi niya, maka niwikin Saskatoon minatohk askiy, Sk. I am a grandmother, mother, auntie, sister and auntie, which are my first roles and responsiblities. My livelihood comes from teaching. I've been a teacher for almost 20 years in the area of decolonizing education, Indigenous studies and of course nehiyawewin. I am currently also a ph.d. candidate with the U of S interdisciplinary Dept. my topic of study is on Adult 2nd Language Learners of Cree. I enjoy learning, reading, writing, comedy, and the game of Bunnock.

RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?

Current status of my language? I am a 2nd language learner of Cree, I am constantly learning off the internet, in person, offline, I also teach Cree from grassroots, not for profit to mainstream education and at the university level. The Cree language is for now is in a poor state, however the Cree consciousness is raising, we have all kinds of programs, initiatives, apps, and mentorship happening everywhere.

RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @NativeLangsTech Twitter account?

My topic is about raising the consciousness of the Cree language to get people speaking, thinking, learning and doing! Policy nor schools will ‘save’ our language it will be the people and our communities that will do it. Success in language reclamation is about engagement and awakening our Indigenous communities into ‘using’ the language one word and one phrase at time and building upon that.

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

My motivation for digital activism is to get youth involved in hopes they will choose to be a speaker of Cree. My dreams for my language is to help people remember that the Cree Language Spirit is Alive like the Earth and needs our attention and care if we are to remain a nation… the nehiyawak.

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