A Pauquachin filmmaker and educator is doing her best to encourage the regrowth of traditional Indigenous languages.
Renee Sampson’s latest venture in that pursuit is Bringing Our Language Back to Life, a short film featuring local youth – including two of her children – speaking, praying and singing using the SENCOTEN language. Through prayer and song, the youth demonstrate the importance of carrying on their language and culture in their community.
Self-identified as a language revitalizationist in her biography, Sampson is also a SENCOTEN immersion teacher at the LE,NONET SCUL,AUTW SENCOTEN Survival School offered by the WSANEC School Board on the Saanich Peninsula.
Her film will reach a wider audience when it is shown online April 14-23 during the 23rd Reel 2 Real International Film Festival For Youth, an event that annually provides culturally diverse films aimed at young audiences. Bringing Our Language Back to Life is part of the Docs – Made in Canada Edition section of the festival, recommended for youth in Grades 6 and 7.
For traditional Indigenous language fans, the festival also features Inuit Languages in the 21st Century, a film that looks at threats to the Inuk language due to diminishing numbers and access to traditional speakers. But technology may be the answer, audiences discover.