FirstVoices Chat app for First Nations languages hits the iPhone
In February, I wrote about an innovative mobile application called FirstVoices Chat. The iPhone app, which allows First Nations people to send text messages written in indigenous languages, was being unveiled at the Information and Communication Technology Summit in Vancouver.
Today (June 18), FirstVoices Chat was released in Apple's App Store. According to its developers at the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (formerly the First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council), the free app works with many indigenous languages in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.
The council hopes the app will help First Nations youth to incorporate indigenous languages into everyday usage. In a news release, Peter Brand, FirstVoices manager, states: "The primary audience for the new app is First Nations youth, but we expect the positive effects of these innovative literacy tools to ripple out to speakers and learners of all ages."