Déline Gonáoweré Gogodí: Conversing with Community, Land, and Creator

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: dene culture, traditional knowledge, language

Principal Investigator: Saxon, Leslie A. (11)
Licence Number: 16589
Organization: University of Victoria
Licenced Year(s): 2019
Issued: Jun 27, 2019
Project Team: Fibbie Tatti (Co-investigator, Déline Got'ine Government), Keren Rice (Co-investigator, University of Toronto), Jasmine Spencer (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Victoria)

Objective(s): To connect place and people socially and spiritually; and to connect people to technological, linguistic, and active ways of knowing for linguistic and narrative revitalization.

Project Description: The goals of language revitalization can be met through narrative revitalization, an approach to language study using the creative, mental, and spiritual dimensions of stories to keep us learning. By studying stories, the research team create memorable and continually growing connections to both language and place. This project will accomplish two overall goals: 1) to connect place and people socially and spiritually; and 2) to connect people to technological, linguistic, and active ways of knowing for linguistic and narrative revitalization. The team will focus on Dene stories. The team also have an interest in the research process. If research participants, researchers, and partners are willing, the research team will consider studying the research process itself and how it met its goals.

The team plan to use existing recordings of stories, and possibly add to the number of recordings (audio and/or video) through story-telling events and people talking about the important of stories to them. The team will carefully obtain all necessary permissions to use particular stories in the research. As researchers and research participants the team will also keep notes about the research process as a reminder of how the work was done. The plan is to produce transcriptions of some stories, which will be written down on paper and/or through computer software such as ELAN (software for transcribing stories).

The project focus is on Dene language as it relates to community, land, and Creator. There are social, cultural, and educational benefits from producing materials and conducting workshops and research that link Dene worldview and these major themes of life in Déline. The work is aimed towards language and culture revitalization, the strengthening of Dene identity and knowledge of language and culture, and towards making more language resources (such as audio recordings) available to community members. There are educational benefits from workshops that are planned for the community and from a planned visit for youth to the University of Victoria, and from linkages that are being formed between Déline and the University of Victoria and the University of Toronto.

The research team anticipate communicating results through community meetings and workshops; story-telling events and celebrations; a website of stories in audio, video, or written formats (with all approvals as required); written forms of stories in Dene and English translations; and, potentially through connections with the NWT Archives.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 22, 2019 to December 31, 2019.