RNLD aims to advance the sustainability of Indigenous languages and to increase the participation of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of language documentation and revitalisation through training, resource sharing, networking, and advocacy. Through our activities, we contribute to the holistic health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by providing direct relief from the suffering and distress that arises from the loss of Indigenous languages and the consequent alienation from cultural heritage and Indigenous identity.

Our services

Training— we partner with Indigenous communities and organisations to develop capacity in language documentation and revitalisation through the Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages program. Our flexible training materials and practices ensure that the skills which people gain are used, retained and shared more widely within a community.

Resources— we disseminate information about conferences, funding opportunities, education and training programs, policies, publications, film, theatre, radio and television, news, and the methods and technologies needed to document, archive, revitalise and maintain indigenous languages.

Networking— we facilitate international networking through our active email discussion list, Facebook group, and Twitter profile, support for the Endangered Languages and Cultures blog, and links to other blogs and networks. Archived RNLD discussions are publicly accessible and searchable through the Linguist List.

Advocacy— we advocate on issues such as bilingual education, Indigenous literacy, language policies and recognition for Indigenous peoples, raise awareness through public events on occasions such as International Mother Language Day, and organize informal gatherings for linguists and community language activists.

 

DRIL workshop highlights

This month, we're highlighting workshops in Shepparton and Swan Hill, Victoria, that DRIL trainer Margaret Florey and Training Support Officer Paola Fischer ran in March 2014.

In March, RNLD ran its first workshop in Shepparton, Victoria. On the first day, Yorta Yorta participants began learning a range of activities to use in language sessions with their families and in primary schools, youth programs and community language programs for adults. On the second day, they took a bold leap into decoding linguistic terminology using their new skills in language hunting and preparing immersion sets.

From Shepparton, Margaret and Paola drove to Swan Hill to kick off RNLD's first workshop there on the banks of the Murray River. They looked at the Miromaa database that is being built for Madhi Madhi and Wadi Wadi, and talked about bringing art and cultural artifacts in to Master-Apprentice sessions. On the second day, the Madhi Madhi and Wadi Wadi family group had a very exciting day of language hunting and beginning to speak Wadi Wadi. Jason Kirby's painting of river life formed the basis for an extended immersion set around fish names, and catching, cooking and eating fish, platypus and long-necked turtle. Rick Kirby's collection of the cultural artifacts he has made will be the basis of future language sessions, and photos of the artifacts will go into the Miromaa database.

     

 

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