Friday, December 12, 2014

UMass Amherst Anthropologist Receives Mellon Fellowship Award to Study Endangered Language and Native American Traditions

November 6, 2014.
Jared Sharpe, of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has written a brief article about Sonya Atalay's new "major fellowship award to master the endangered Anishinaabemowin language of Native American Ojibwe tribal communities, in order to expand research and understanding of ancient tribal knowledge and practices that are under an increasing threat of becoming lost forever".

"Anishinaabe language and traditional knowledge contain complex and nuanced ways of understanding the natural world all around us with this grant I’m attempting to gather and braid together strands of knowledge that are often separated and studied independently in universities. I’m drawing connections between earthworks, archaeological mounds and ancient rock art to reclaim teachings that our ancestors left written on the land, saw in waterways and recognized through traditional star knowledge. The Mellon Foundation’s New Directions Fellowship will allow me to use digital technologies to connect traditional tribal knowledge with sophisticated geographic information system (GIS) mapping to learn how people of the Great Lakes engaged with the landscape and natural environment thousands of years ago. This can help us understand our contemporary world, even provide solutions for navigating some of our most pressing global concerns.”

To read the full article, click here.

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