BCC develops Montana’s first Native language app

May 15th, 2013 | By | Category: 24-4: Language Revitalization, Tribal College News

ENGAGING TECHNOLOGY. The new Blackfeet language app serves as a reference guide for basic words and phrases.

By blending the future of technology with the history of tribal language, Blackfeet Community College (BCC, Browning, MT) has developed Montana’s first Native American language application for smartphone users. The BCC Blackfeet Culture and Language Division has been working on the first phase of the “app” for nearly six months. The division teamed up with Ogoki Learning and developed the first of many apps for the Blackfeet language. The free app is available to Apple iPhone users. The Android version will be available later in 2013.

BCC president, Dr. Billie Jo Kipp, stated, “We are pleased with the innovation that division chair Mike LaFromboise has initiated in the development of this app. BCC is poised to be first in the advanced technological development of the Blackfeet Language. This type of ingenuity represents the many talents that BCC has to offer and a melding of our history to the future of technology.”

The application is a quick and easy reference guide to numbers, phrases, colors, and more. The goal of the project’s first phase was to establish an avenue to teach the tribe’s younger generation a few words or phrases. “We feel we can connect all generations by using communication tools that the younger generation prefers. We offer a cultural teaching opportunity utilizing cutting-edge technology,” LaFromboise stated.

He went on to note that the college was working on future upgrades for Phase I based on feedback from the community. The Blackfeet Culture and Language Division has also initiated plans for Phase II of the project and hopes to include Blackfeet bands in Canada.

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