MICEC uses pandemic closure to digitize collection, launch online language learning

The Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre has taken advantage of the pandemic closure to digitize its vast audio and visual collection. “The people that don’t know about the centre are really shocked when they come here and see everything that there is to learn and see and do,” said Dene Sinclair, who is Anishinaabe from Peguis First Nation and works as a consultant with the centre. Sinclair explained that the digitization effort includes taking photographs of the material collection and editing and transcribing interviews with First Nations language speakers from the 1990s. The centre also transitioned its “language tables,” which connected fluent Cree and Ojibwe speakers with learners, to an online learning format and has brought in new students. “To me, that’s probably one of the coolest things that we were able to start doing in the last few months,” said Sinclair.