New Aboriginal Children’s Book Unveiled during Royal Visit to the Yukon
September 28, 2016
WHITEHORSE – Today, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met with partners and supporters unveiling a new book written in the Southern Tutchone language designed to support language acquisition in children ages 3 – 8. The book has been produced as part of an initiative of Prince’s Charities Canada (which supports the Canadian charitable work of The Prince of Wales) and its partners SayITFirst, the Yukon Native Languages Centre, the Duska Head Start Learning Centre and the One Laptop per Child Canada (OLPC).
Their Royal Highnesses were taught the Southern Tutchone words for moose, beaver and bear as they worked their way through the MacBride Museum courtyard ending at a story circle featuring kids (ages 3-5) from the local Duska Head Start Learning Centre. Kwalin Dün First Nation elder Lorraine Allen then led a reading of the book entitled “Hide and Peek” which is a story about a Moose named William looking for his lost son George. The reading was followed by traditional songs and drumming.
“Language is culture,” said Amanda Sherrington, President and CEO of Prince’s Charities Canada. “With this project every kindergartener and grade one student in Whitehorse will get a copy of these books and that’s a step in the right direction in ensuring that Southern Tuchone and other ancestral languages will be around for many years to come.”
Following the Royal visit, the kids at Duska also received laptops through the One Laptop Per Child Canada. OLPC was a founding partner of PCC’s aboriginal languages initiative and the new Southern Tutchone book will be added to a digital library available to 15,000 aboriginal children across Canada.
Mike Parkhill, author and illustrator of Hide and Peek, would like to applaud the Royal family for bringing visibility to the near death experience the majority of Indigenous languages are facing in Canada today. He adds, “All Canadians have a hand in promoting and accepting the diversity of culture Native Languages bring to our country.”
For more information, please contact:
Matthew Rowe – Prince’s Charities Canada