The 2013 Dene (Athabaskan) Languages Conference will take place June 12-14, 2013, in the Sarcee Seven Chiefs Sportsplex at Tsuu T’ina Nation just outside of Calgary, Canada. This is the only conference in North America that focuses specifically on Dene (Athabaskan, Na-Dene) languages and communities, with Dene community members from all over North America in attendance.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Dene Drum and Discourse”. It expresses the idea that language is intimately connected with its social and cultural setting. In many Dene communities, drumming represents one practice in which all of these related elements – language, culture, and social interaction – come together, and where the sharing of language and culture with younger generations has often been particularly successful. The conference will feature performances by Dene drum groups who span the entire Dene territory from north to south. These groups will also talk about their cultural and language work. The rest of the conference will consist of presentations on language maintenance and revitalization, language and linguistic studies, and more presentations on drums and drumming. Each day of the conference will focus on a different aspect of the conference theme:
- June 12: “Language maintenance and revitalization” – Reports by community members, teachers, linguists, and language activists
- June 13: ”Drum” – The drum and drumming in its different Dene manifestations, its connection to land and community, and its role in the maintenance and revitalization of language and culture
- June 14: “Discourse” – Language and linguistic studies, from sounds to the transmission of meaning, with a focus on language in context and meaning in language
We invite you all to come – Elders, youth, other community members, teachers, speakers, learners, linguists, and other academics. Please see the call for papers for more information on giving a presentation at the conference.