The First Nations University has partnered with Prince’s Charities Canada to launch Indigenous-language children’s books in Saskatchewan.

Written by SayITFirst Inc. and translated by the First Nations University faculty and alumni, the books aim to revitalize Cree languages through youth.

The five books – written in Swampy, Woods, and Plains Cree dialects – are aimed at children aged four to eight. The books target significant childhood development topics and bring up key lessons that are relevant to both children and adults.

The books feature a phonetic pronunciation of the Cree words, along with their English translation. Through the Aursama app, a native language speaker will read the book aloud in order to assure proper pronunciation.

“By including the phonetics, English and audio video components, we can ensure that non-fluent Cree speakers, specifically parents and guardians, can read the books along with their children,” said Jessica Bentley-Jacobs, director of marketing and business development at Prince’s Charities Canada.

The partnership between FNUC and Prince’s Charities Canada is supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

FNUC is proud to play a role in the work of healing and cultural revitalization called for by the TRC, said Dr. Lynn Wells, Vice-President Academic at First Nations University in a written release.

“By outing these books into the hands of students, their teachers and parents, we are helping to restore First Nations languages that were repressed during the residential school era,” Wells said.

“We are also strengthening Indigenous cultural identity for generations to come.”

The books will be available through schools and communities, distributed by FNUC students in the Language Instruction Certificate and Indigenous Education degree programs, and are also available through local school and community libraries throughout Canada.