‘We want people to hear the language’: 12 CSI launches Stoney Nakoda safety video

Launch coincides with National Indigenous People's Day and Aboriginal Awareness Week in Calgary

the 12 Community Safety Initiative recently launched this video about traffic safety, which has been translated into Stoney Nakoda. SCREENSHOT

The 12 Community Safety Initiative (12 CSI) has launched a version of their ‘Be Blunt’ safety video translated into the Stoney Nakoda language. 

The video was released on National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to celebrate the vibrancy of Indigenous communities and cultures.

Larry Leach, the executive director of 12 CSI, said the idea to put together safety videos came about a year and a half ago. 

Using grant money from Alberta Transportation, the videos were translated into many languages, including Punjabi, Arabic, and Spanish.

“Because we are in Alberta’s most diverse area we decided that we wanted to translate them into as many languages as we could,” Leach said. Initially, the videos were translated into four languages.

“We’ve added on to that since, so we’re up to six now with Stoney Nakoda. We want to do at least another three Indigenous languages as well.”

Same videos, different motivations

With many of these translations, the emphasis was on communicating with those who may not be fluent in English. However for videos done with Indigenous languages, the motivation was different.

“We want people to hear the language, and to try and help preserve the language as opposed to thinking that a whole bunch of people speak those languages,” said Leach.

Ina Wesley did the translations. Wesley, who is from the Stoney Nakoda Nation, is doing a practicum placement with 12 CSI. Her father is a Medicine Keeper.

She said the language translation is an important part of educating people about Indigenous cultures. 

Wesley said she grew up speaking Stoney Nakoda at home. Her parents later encouraged her to balance speaking English and the Stoney language.

“There’s a lot of fluent speakers (in Calgary) but then there are others who are just learning to speak the Stoney language as well,” said Wesley.

Wesley’s other work with 12 CSI includes producing a calendar of important Indigenous dates and creating a Youth Indigenous book list.

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