It has been over 3 years since JEDI first started working with First Nation students from Kingsclear at George Street Middle School (GSMS). The first group of students JEDI worked with created a children’s Maliseet book called “Weyossisok” designed to educate readers in the Maliseet language. Last year, JEDI proudly supported a new generation of GSMS students who are following the footsteps of their peers. These students developed a mobile app called ‘Helping Hands Walastoquiyik (Maliseet) Teachings’.
The Maliseet language Mobile App is a follow-up to the book “Weyossisok”, which won the previous group of students The Entrepreneurial Adventure Program’s BMO Financial Group National Student Innovation Award for Impact on School and Community.
The new group of students wanted to maintain the momentum from the success of the children’s book but at the same time create a separate learning tool that is accessible to anyone who wants to learn the language. The language app has the potential to have an important impact on the Maliseet culture.
The app is a useful resource for the preservation of the Maliseet language as it covers 10 separate categories of words such as colors, numbers, weather, food, small phrases, family, and more. Language isn’t the only tool that can help keep the Maliseet culture alive, the app also includes educational components such as a list with descriptions of the traditional sacred medicines and a map of New Brunswick with the location of the various Maliseet communities. Finally, the app also contains a link to the Maliseet language portal for a more in-depth Maliseet dictionary.
Two of JEDI’s Mobile Application Developer graduates teamed up with the students to help make their vision a reality. The final product earned the students their own award, The Entrepreneurial Adventure Program’s BMO Financial Group National Student Innovation Award. To purchase this app for your mobile phone, search for “Helping Hands” on the Apple iTunes store and Google Play store. The cost is $1.39 Canadian or $0.99 US. All proceeds from the purchase of the app will be donated to the Headstart program in Kingsclear First Nation.