The free apps are available in Bush Cree, Chipewyan, and South Slavey
FORT SMITH, NT – The South Slave Divisional Education Council’s First Nations Storybooks apps, available in Bush Cree, Chipewyan, and South Slavey, are now all available for users to download for free on both iOS and Android devices. A quick search for “First Nations Storybook” should find the apps.
Designed to look like a bookshelf, the educational apps are available through the App Store and Google Play, and each house about 50 books from the SSDEC’s collection, most of which are written in both the local Indigenous languages and in English. The books, which tell of stories that reflect the traditions, values and experiences of northern Canadians, are read by local fluent speakers so that readers can hear, follow along, and learn the language.
Retired Assistant Superintendent Brent Kaulback is excited for the final release of the apps, which he developed to support the 300 books he has helped publish through the SSDEC over the years. While the iOS versions have been released over the past few years, this is the first time Android users can also access the stories.
“The First Nations Storybook Project supports people who are eager to learn and speak the languages of the South Slave region. These apps are helping communities rediscover their language through the written and spoken word, which is accentuated by beautiful illustrations and photos of life in the North,” he explained.
The SSDEC is always on the lookout for the next great northern story, and encourage budding authors to write, illustrate, and record their own books in any of the NWT’s official languages and then submit them to be reviewed and potentially included in this growing collection of books.
This project would not be possible without the generous funding provided by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment and the Government of the Northwest Territories.