12 May 2015

Smartphone app promotes First Nation languages

8:08 pm on 12 May 2015

A native American language expert has developed a smartphone app to promote First Nation languages, following the success of a Māori language app.

Christopher Horsethief

Christopher Horsethief Photo: SUPPLIED

Christopher Horsethief is an assistant professor at the Union Institute and University in Ohio.

He has been an instructor of Ktunaxa Language at the College of the Rockies since 2011.

Professor Horsethief is the developer behind a new KtunaxaFont app intended to help promote the indigenous language.

He said he made the app with a phonetic keyboard option that allows users to write on Facebook, Twitter and iMessage in traditional Ktunaxa characters.

Professor Horsethief said the Ktunaxa app was the prototype for a series of keyboard apps that could empower mobile users from other Indigenous speech communities.

He said the Ktunaxa keyboard app was the number one download, with Māori as number two and Interior Salish number three.

In addition, he has designed Apple Store Fronts for Eastern Cree, Western Cree, Cheyenne and the Navajo Nations.