Friday, December 1, 2023

Language and Identity

“Language is very important because that is our identity, what makes us unique as Naskapi people,” says Amanda Swappie, a team language specialist and translator. “Without it, our culture and traditions would not be the same...”

More than 1,000 Naskapis now live in their community of Kawawachikamach in Quebec, surrounded by forests and swampy muskeg (peat bog). Forty years ago, Naskapi leaders asked SIL (one of Wycliffe’s strategic partners) to help start a foundational grammar and dictionary project for the Naskapi language (which uses syllabics - characters that each represent an entire syllable).

SIL’s Bill Jancewicz has been serving as resource linguist since he and his wife Norma Jean joined the community-based Naskapi language and culture development strategy in 1988. The project has yielded a Naskapi dictionary, mother-tongue literacy and education, printed Naskapi stories and legends, and translation efforts, including Scripture.

Imagine how different life would be without access to the Bible in a language we clearly understand... As we each celebrate the joy and truth of Christmas within our own cultures and traditions, so now can the Naskapi, praise God!

Pray for continued Bible translation in Naskapi and other First Nation languages.


Personal Update

My November trip to Florida was wonderfully warm and my time with friends was so refreshing, but I came home with a nasty cold that sidelined me for a while. I am very thankful to be able to work from home and it is nice to be feeling better now.

Both of my roles with Wycliffe are going well. Thank you for your prayers that the Lord will continue to give wisdom to faithfully serve my colleagues with the background details that permit them to focus on their own tasks in Bible translation.

I’m enjoying helping with the Jr High Sunday School class at Faith Church. I’m learning lots, too, as the class is a survey of the entire Bible!

This holiday season has already been different than previous years, but the Lord is allowing me and my family find our new normal for this chapter. I am grateful for the many prayers and encouragements through these months of adjustment.

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