My friend Dustin Rivers is an inspiration. He’s an autodidact, an artist, a catalyst in his community. I’ve known him for about six years, since he was a young teenager. He has always had a remarkable presence and a strong voice and a deep commitment to the thriving resiliance of Skwxwu7mesh culture and language. Over the years he has been developing a number of his skills, including hosting skills so that he could lead community development efforts.
He recently hooked up with Evan and Willem from Where Are Your Keys? a language fluency game that builds skills using sign language and simple phrases. It’s a powerful learning game, and Dustin saw immediate applications for the Skwxwu7mesh language and he decided to host Evan and Willem and begin the process of waking up the native and ancient language of the territory in which I live.
Here are some links to posts and videos of Dustin at work with friends and family in his community:
- The Skwxwu7mesh Language Project kicks off.
- The game being played.
- Evan and Willem debriefing and thinking about their experiences with Dustin and the community, episode one and two.
- Dustin’s poster inviting folks to the weekly session.
Thanks for the telling folks about the language revitalization work, Chris – Evan and I are thrilled to have partnered with Dustin. Dustin is dedicated to making sure his language survives, and his community organizing skills have been absolutely key in this.
We’re really having a deeply satisfying and uplifting time striving for something that we all care about – exactly how it should be.
Willem…I’ve connected you to my friends who run AIM Language Learning here on Bowen Island. They use a similar method to you I think, incorporating gestures and physical movement and my friend Neil there got interested in the application to rescuing sleeping languages. I hope you all connect.
Dustin taught me the game over Skype last weekend, gave me a sense of the basics: techniques, craigslists, signs and all. It’s amazing.
And Dustin is a great partner! Full of curiosity, commitment, energy and possibility. I’m enjoying being along for the ride in his hosting journey in the world.
You have the coolest links on your blog, Chris! I always look forward to your posts and what interesting new things I’m going to learn from them.
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