Every language deserves to flourish.

A collaborative effort

Simbi Foundation HQ is on colonized land. Together with First Nation communities in BC, we’re helping to create digital spaces and supply education technology to support students and teachers grow and revive their ancestral languages in new, immersive ways.

Our approach

Supporting Existing Efforts

Communities across BC have been making huge efforts to lift the 34 Indigenous languages out of endangerment. As an education-focused non-profit organization based in Vancouver, we at Simbi Foundation want to play our part in these efforts.

Research-driven

In 2021, Simbi Foundation began an Indigenous-led research initiative to determine how best to support First Nations schools’ and communities’ education initiatves. Consultation with members of some Stó:lō communities highlighted that our education technology could support community language programs and initiatves.

Community-led

As a non-Indigenous organization, we know that it is not our place to create language content for communities. Instead, we have since been collaborating with elders, language speakers, teachers, and youth, to ensure that they are directly creating the content from which they want their next generations to learn.

Creating Digital Spaces

As well as facilitating the content creation process with workshops and resources, Simbi Foundation works with software partner Simbi to create a digital space for this community-created language content which has been transformed into immersive e-books which hold the narrations of elders, teachers, and other speakers.

Enhancing Access

To help enhance access to these language materials in community schools and other learning spaces, we work with funders and donors to provide education technology, including laptops, tablets, headphones, and more. This technology aims to make it quick and easy to access to the community content.

A Contribution

Ultimately, we hope our work, collaborations, and the digital learning tools we have developed at Simbi Foundation over the past 7 years, can help enhance the existing efforts of communities, schools, and other organizations to revive these precious languages.

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Explore our projects

Use the buttons to explore our collaboration with communities and schools. Before you explore, watch this video made by Best Buy to get a glimpse of our pilot technology project with Squiala Elementary School.

Language Libraries

Learn more about the language libraries born from our collaborations so far.

LANGUAGE LIBRARIES

Halq’eméylem Library

Continuing this collaboration, we funded community workshops, in which digital read-along books in Halq’eméylem language have been written and narrated by language speakers, elders, teachers, and community members from Sxwoyehà:là, Sq’ewqeyl, Ch’iyàqtel, and Xwchíyò:m communities.

These books form a digital read-along Halq’eméylem library hosted on the Simbi platform. The majority of the books are bilingual and at beginner level, with a goal to support community youth to build familiarity with key Halq’eméylem vocabulary and expressions.

We express our gratitude to each of the members of the Stó:lō communities (Sxwoyehà:là, Sq’ewqeyl, Ch’iyàqtel, and Xwchíyò:m) who has contributed to this work so far. We especially thank to Vivian Williams, Lakota Julian, Wenona Hall, Danielle Munroe, Jonathan Williams, Amy Victor, Herb Joe, CarrieLynn Victor, Steffany Munshaw, and Jade Victor for their guidance and contributions.

LANGUAGE LIBRARIES

Kwak̓wala Library

In early 2022, we began an exciting collaboration with Nawalakw Healing Society, an organization based between Bond Sound and Alert Bay in Kwakwaka’wakw territory which provides culture, language, and healing programming to its peoples and youth.

Our collaboration is building a Kwak̓wala library hosted on the Simbi platform, stocked full of immersive, read-along books written and narrated by youth and elders from the surrounding communities. We hope this digital library will support the efforts of Nawalakw to document and pass on the Kwak̓wala language.

We sincerely thank the Nawalakw Healing Society for making this collaboration possible. We especially thank Margaret Wilson, Deanna, Brendan, and Caelan Nicolson, Danielle Barnes, Naomi Triebwasser, Kris Taylor and every other elder and youth who has been involved with creating these books. We are excited to continue this collaboration into the future.

To support the creation of land-based language, culture and healing programs, please visit: nawalakw.com

LANGUAGE LIBRARIES

How does it work?

Hover to learn more

v

Workshop

Workshops bring language speakers, elders, youth, and community members together to begin book creation.

l

Writing

Language speakers, teachers, and community members write language books they would like for their youth.

Upload

We upload the finished books to the Simbi reading platform, where they become digital, read-along books.

Narrating

Uploaded books can now be narrated by language speakers on the Simbi platform, which matches the text and the speech.

Reading

The narrated books can now be read! Learners can choose the narrator they would like to listen to and learn from as they read.

Technology Crate

School Collaborations

Learn more about our collaborations with First Nation schools to use education technology to enhance access to the community-created language librarires in classroom spaces.

Squiala Collaboration

Technology Kit

In April 2022, we collaborated with Squiala Elementary School to create a pilot technology kit, designed to enhance access to the digital Halq’eméylem library on Simbi from within the school’s classrooms.

Squiala Technology Crate

Tap to learn more about what’s inside the Squiala technology kit! 

Tablets

Tablets

The kit includes 30 tablets to support teachers and students at the school, providing easier access to the Halq’eméylem library and the read-along language books created and narrated by community members.

Headphones

Headphones

30 pairs of headphones give students the opportunity to independently listen along to community narrations of the Halq’emeylem books. A included microphone helps capture new narrations if a language speaker is visiting the school.

Crate

Charging Crate

All of the technology is stored in a portable, compact, lockable charging crate, which charges the tablets when connected to power. The crate is on wheels, making it easy to move from one classroom to another as needed by teachers.

Hover to learn more about what’s inside the Squiala technology kit!

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To learn more, watch this video made by Best Buy, who gave tablets to Squiala Elementary school for the technology kit.

Supporters

Simbi

Get In Touch

Interesting in collaborating, learning more, or becoming a supporter of this project?

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