Introduction to the Dogrib Dictionary
(excerpted from the 1996 printed dictionary)
The publication of a preliminary edition of the Dogrib Dictionary in 1992 was an
important event for the Dogrib Divisional Board of Education. The dictionary coincided
with the graduation of the ﬁrst teachers from the Kw’atindee Bino Community Teacher
Education Program in Rae-Edzo and was intended as an integral part of the foundation
upon which we could build the language and cultural programming in our schools.
The distribution of the dictionary kindled an interest in many people in their language
which supported the progress of literacy courses in our communities and the writing
of Dogrib in our schools.
We hope that this enlarged and improved edition of the dictionary will do more of
the same. As each year there are fewer elders who speak of the old ways in the old
language, it becomes extremely important to document their world view before it
is gone altogether. The dictionary is one tool to achieve this end. In the future,
it will serve young people by giving them a glimpse into the world of their ancestors
and, we can pray that it will continue to be the record of a living language.
The publication of this book is not the end of this dictionary project. We hope
to continue documenting the Dogrib language, and that this continuing work will
lead to the publication of a more comprehensive dictionary in the years to come.
Indeed, we currently collect and document the language using a relational database
that records a great deal more information than we have been able to include within
the constraints of this edition.
This dictionary project would never have been completed without the work of a number
of people. I want to express my profound appreciation for Jacob Feenstra who began this project on our behalf
in 1990 and for Leslie Saxon and Mary Siemens who continued the work after the preliminary
dictionary publication in 1992. They have committed a great deal of their personal
timAppreciation must also be given to the individual members of the Dogrib
Divisional Board of Education, who, over the past seven years, have consistently
recognized the importance of this work and supported the project. Also, thanks
are due to those people outside of our communities who contributed signiﬁcantly
to the success of the project including Paul Brown and, later, Flemming Andersen
of AKTIV Software in Victoria who developed the 4th Dimension template and
completed the formatting for the ﬁnal product.
Finally, I would like to thank the ﬁrst and second generation of Dogrib teachers
who have taught our children in their ﬁrst language: Mary Adele Flunkie, Lucy
Lafferty, George Mackenzie, Phillip Mackenzie, Gina Maclean and Terri Tsetta who
in many ways started it all with her original noun dictionary, and Josie Bishop,
Shirley Campbell, Verna Crapeau, Mary Therese Douglas, Christine Liske, Rosa
Mantla, Cecilia Zoe,-Martin, Bella Nitsiz, Eva Nitsiza, Marie Sabourine,
Ernestine Steinwand, Tammy Steinwand and Celine Whane.
Jim Martin, Director Dogrib Divisional Board of Education
Department of Linguistics University of Victoria
Dogrib Divisional Teaching & Learning Centre, Dogrib
Divisional Board of Education
For even more information from the Printed Dictionary click here:
Dogrib Dictionary PDF