Kút’a! We did it!
The 2013 Dene (Athabaskan) Languages Conference is now over. There were over 200 participants, from children to Elders. Thank you, masi chogh, to you all for coming, some of you from far away, and participating! We learned many new things from each other, we sang and prayed and drummed and danced, played handgames, visited, and engaged in much-needed dialogue between university and community. Once again, thank you! We hope to see you again at next year’s conference, at the latest!
The 2014 Dene Languages Conference will take place in Prince George, BC.
The date will be announced once it is known; it will be in June, July or August 2014. Keep checking http://www.uaf.edu/alc/ to find out the date and other information as it becomes available.
If you gave a presentation, please send us your slides or handout, and we will post them on this website.
Please email to: deneconference2013 AT gmail DOT com
You are also invited to turn your presentation into an article, and submit it to the conference proceedings, which will be published through the working papers of the Alaska Native Language Centre. Authors receive a complimentary copy at next year’s conference.
The Dene Languages Conference has a permanent website: http://www.uaf.edu/alc/
There you can find up to date information on upcoming conferences (e.g., the one in Prince George in 2014), links to individual conference websites, an archive of previous conferences, and more. We recommend you take a look!
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.