The Blackfoot Language Resources and Digital Dictionary project: creating integrated web resources for language documentation and revitalization

Thumbnail Image
Genee, Inge
Junker, Marie-Odile
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Hawaii Press
This paper describes ongoing work to create a suite of integrated web resources in support of Blackfoot language documentation, maintenance, and revitalization efforts. Built around a digital dictionary, the website also contains grammar sketches, a library of other language-related resources, and a story archive. The project began its life as advocacy research (i.e., a digital repatriation project) but developed into empowerment research through community participation. The first phase consisted of back-digitization of an existing print dictionary. The second phase, which is ongoing, works toward making the dictionary user-friendly for speakers, learners, and teachers, and embedding it in a website that contains supporting content. Key features are developed collaboratively with Blackfoot community members. In order to create an environment in which all participants are equally empowered to help shape the project, a Participatory Action Research approach was adopted for the second phase of teamwork. This resulted in important new priorities for presentation, content, and enhancement of features. It has also had impact on the participants themselves, who developed awareness and new relationships as well as acquiring new skills and knowledge, which for some contributed to new jobs and academic directions. Finally, the project is producing new material to address existing research questions and generating new questions for future research projects.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International LIcense (CC BY-NC 4.0) applies
Indigenous language revitalization , Blackfoot language , Participatory action research , Digital repatriation , Digital resources for language revitalization , Online dictionaries
Genee, I., & Junker, M.-O. (2018). The Blackfoot Language Resources and Digital Dictionary project: Creating integrated web resources for language documentation and revitalization. Language Documentation & Conservation, 12, 274-314..