Canada has the fifth highest number of endangered languages in the world. According to UNESCO, there are nearly 90 unique Indigenous languages that are at risk of becoming extinct. Some, like the Munsee language in Ontario, only have around 10 speakers left.
Dadavan Systems, a student information system software, has been working with Indigenous communities for over 20 years. During this time, the company has learned a lot about Indigenous culture, needs and concerns. Wanting to help, they launched Cultural Codex.
Cultural Codex, a web-based social platform, enables Indigenous communities to crowdsource and preserve language and culture using a variety of mediums in a public digital space. The platform allows users to upload audio, video, text, and photos in multimedia collections. Some current collections include Mi’ kmaq language tutorials, Elder biographies, and Indigenous artwork galleries.
In addition to language and cultural preservation, Dadavan hopes the platform will help support reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities by providing an opportunity for anyone to learn and connect with the stories shared online.
To help attract Canadians to the website during the sesquicentennial, Dadavan is inviting people from all across the nation to use Cultural Codex.
“At this stage, we want to get as many people engaged as possible,” says Justin Moore an account manager at Dadavan. “Not just First Nations stories but anyone who can connect and share a little piece of culture.”