convocation, first nations language program

First Cohort of FNLP MA Students Graduating; Elder Ruby Peter Receiving Honorary Doctorate

June 13, 2019

This spring's Convocation marks two very important milestones in First Nations linguistics and towards the future of work on language revitalization:

The First Nations Language Program, a partner of the Linguistics department, will be graduating its first MA students in the Linguistics of a First Nations Language. These cohorts are composed of people who have spent countless hours crafting a synthesis of linguistic analysis from the perspective of the community's approach to traditional knowledge and teaching. The cohort based in Duncan, BC lead by Dr. Donna Gerdts has 12 students focusing on Hul’q’umi’num’, a Central Salish language; the other cohort lead by Dr. Marianne Ignace features 12 students focusing on 5 different First Nations languages: Haida, Halkomelem, Secwepemctsin, Tahltlan, and Halkomelem. You can read more about their experience here.

In this spring's Convocation, Elder Ruby Peter will receive an honorary doctorate from SFU. She has been working on Hul’q’umi’num’ for over 50 years and has contributed astonishing amounts of invaluable knowledge of Hul’q’umi’num’ in that time in addition to mentoring dozens of students (including the Duncan cohort above) and being a cornerstone of the community. You can see what she has to say about her work all these years here.