Get to know the COOL Team! Our dedicated group of investigators, steering committee members, coordinators, project leaders, students, and other personnel involved with the COOL Project share a bit about themselves and why they are thrilled to be involved in the CURA project.
For contact information, click HERE.
Carrie Dyck - Principal Investigator
I'm a Linguistics prof at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I've been working with Gayogo̲ho:nǫˀ speakers for about 18 years now. In 1992, I had the great privilege of working with Alfred and Lottie Keye, and the late Frances Froman on the Cayuga dictionary, which was published by U of Toronto Press in 2002. We also worked on a grammar of Cayuga, which is still in progress. (Much of the grammar information is accessible at http://phon.ling.mun.ca/cayuga.) When I am not working or doing my cats' bidding, my hobbies include learning the guitar, watercolour painting, and motorcycling.
Amos Key Jr. - Co-investigator
Amos Key Jr. has worked for 27 years as a director of First Nations Languages Program with the Woodland Cultural Centre, a not-for-profit First Nations institution in Brantford, Ontario. He has worked on policy and process in the area of First Nations languages and First Nations bilingualism. He is the volunteer president of the Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board, which works with and for urban Aboriginal youth from Kitchener-Waterloo to Fort Erie. The board honoured his leadership by naming its new private secondary school Gai hon nya ni: The Amos Key Jr. E-Learning Institute. His activities speak to his appreciation for public service, developing community spirit and volunteerism for a just society and an opportunity to better the quality of life for First Peoples and all Ontarians.
Steering Committee Members
I am Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Nation and was raised on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve, and now reside on the Six Nations of the Grand River with my husband and 3 daughters. I attended Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario and received a Diploma in Executive Secretarial Science, and attended Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario and completed the Word Processing and Data Processing Programs. I have been working on and off at the Woodland Cultural Centre for the past 18 years, of which 16 years has been in the Language Program. I am the volunteer Secretary for the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council Inc. and past Commission Member of the Six Nations Language Commission.
My Ǫgwehǫ:weh name is Dayójęhs and I am Seneca Snipe Clan. I grew up learning some Seneca language but switched to Cayuga when I had my children. I started out with some beginner Cayuga night classes. I have 5 children that I enrolled in a Cayuga immersion school so I attended a full-time adult Cayuga immersion program to help them. I learned from Marge Henry in a full-immersion setting for 3 years in total and also studied with my husband’s parents, Harvey & Ruth Longboat for a number of years. I volunteered at the elementary school and even taught Cayuga there for a term. I taught some beginner adult night classes, was a language resource technician, did some research jobs and consulting for various language projects and voluntarily organized a Cayuga language conference last year. I am currently teaching adults in the Ogweho:weh Language Diploma program at Six Nations Polytechnic in the evenings and work at Dwadewayehsta’ Gayogoho:no’ Master/Apprentice Program during the day. I also continue to learn Seneca language.
Lottie has been involved with language since 1985. She was the first teacher for the Gaweniyo Immersion School. She taught there until 2003. Lottie has also taught Cayuga language classes at Hamilton Regional Indian Centre and Six Nations Polytechnic. She has been involved with Sweet Grass Language Council since it’s inception in 1989. Lottie assisted with the Cayuga Language Dictionary and the translation of the Gaihwiyo as recited by the late Huron Miller. Since retiring from teaching, Lottie works at the Language Preservation Project as a translator and Curriculum Developer.
Kehte Deer went through the immersion school system at Six Nations for Cayuga. He completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts for Linguistics, and is currently finishing Master's-level work. He has worked with Cayuga for a number of years, and assists with various Cayuga programs at Six Nations.
Project Leader for Conversations for a Cayuga Grammar
Arenho:ktha Thomas Deer has been learning and teaching languages since he was a young teenager living in Kahnawake. He has reached a high level of fluency in both the Mohawk and Cayuga languages and has a working knowledge of the Onondaga language. Arenho:ktha is a ceremonial speaker at the Onondaga longhouse at Six Nations of the Grand River. Reaching a high level of proficiency in these Iroquoian languages is a realization of a personal goal for Arenho:ktha. This achievement has afforded him the ability to continue to converse with and learn from elders in many Iroquoian communities. Arenho:ktha's strong motivation to learn and teach is what drives his desire to see our languages flourish again in our communities.
Arenho:ktha has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, a BEd, and is a second language specialist certification in Iroquoian languages. He has been a teacher for the past 20 years, teaching all subject areas completely in Mohawk and Cayuga languages. He has taught in the Mohawk and Cayuga immersion programs as well as the Mohawk language program at McMaster University in Hamilton.
My Ogwehoweh name is Ga:gwihsohk and I am Bear Clan of the Mohawk Nation. I come from a Cayuga-speaking background and always wanted to learn more. I began teaching in the Cayuga Language Immersion program in 1995 and always wanted to improve my language speaking ability. I was able to do this in Marge Henry's adult Cayuga language immersion class. I took this program for 3 years in total, while at the same time completing my B.A. in Anthropology and my Bachelor of Education. I taught Cayuga immersion whenever I could throughout this time and also coordinated the initial COOL project for its first year. I am currently participating in the Cayuga Language Master/Apprentice Program at GREAT and teaching Cayuga to adults in the Ogwehoweh Language Diploma Program at Polytech.
Former Steering Committee Members
Renae was involved with the CURA Steering Committee for the first two years of the project. Her education includes elementary classes, night classes (after high school), and full-time adult immersion classes with Marge Henry for three years as a student and then one and a half years working as her assistant. She then began teaching full-time at OSTTC for a beginner adult program. Renae continues to contribute to Cayuga language maintenance through leading immersion classes at Grand River Employment and Training.
Coordinator at Memorial University of Newfoundland, funded by VP (Research) at MUN
I completed my Master's degree in linguisitcs in March, 2013. The subject of my research/thesis was the intonation and pitch accent system of the Cayuga language. I was first introduced to the Cayuga language during my undergraduate degree when I took a course on the structure of the language. I have been working with the COOL Project since the Summer of 2010 and have taken over as Project Coordinator at Memorial as of September 2013.
My Gayogo̱ho:no' name is Gawęnǫ:gye'. I am Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation, Six Nations. I received my Degrees for Bachelor of Arts, Visual Arts Major and Bachelor of Education at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. When I returned to Six Nations to teach at Kawęnni:io/Gawęni:yo Immersion High School I also earned a certificate in Aboriginal Language Revitalization through the University of Victoria. I decided to learn more of my Cayuga Language so as to encourage my students to use our language and to become more involved in our traditional ceremonies in the Longhouse. I have been studying Gayogo̱ho:no' since 2006 taking a beginner class half time and again two years of beginner courses at Ogwehoweh Skills Trades and Training Centre and two years at Six Nations Polytechnic Ogwehoweh Language Diploma Program. I have a sixteen year old son and nineteen month old twin boys who I hope will also speak our language. I am glad to be working as the Language Community Liaison and assisting the various programs at preserving and revitalizing Gayogo̱ho:no'.
Gaihw:yo: Community Outreach (Subproject of the Master-Apprentice Program)
Alfred grew up on the Six Nations Reserve. He lived in New York State for eight years. His parents kept the language alive. Alfred has been a Faith-keeper since he was 17 years old. Alfred has four boys, one daughter and a grandchild. He has been an iron-worker, but also became a certified language teacher in 1992. Alfred has taught at the secondary level, and at I.L. Thomas Immersion. He retired due to sickness in 2005. Currently, Alfred is a Cayuga language consultant with the Woodland Cultural Centre.
MA (Linguistics) Memorial University, funded by COOL (Fall 2011-present)
I am originally from Ontario, but I moved to Newfoundland this year to begin my Masters supervised by Dr. Brittain and Dr. Dyck at Memorial University, with a focus in language revitalization and maintenance. I first became interested in language preservation during my B.A. at McMaster University through the Indigenous Studies Program, which highlighted the vital link between language, culture, and identity. So far I've studied Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Inuktitut, and through this project I hope to learn some Gayogoho:no as well. I am thrilled to be able to give a little back to the Six Nations community, who in conjunction with the Indigenous Studies Program at McMaster has supported me in my personal and academic development.
Ph.D Candidate (Computer Science) Memorial University, funded by GradSWEP (Fall 2012)
I received my Master’s degree in Computer Science from Amman Arab University (Jordan) and my Bachelor’s in Computer Science from Al Isra Private University (Jordan). My research interests include normative multi-agent systems, autonomous agents, and algorithms complexity. I worked as a lecturer from 2005-2008 at Al Isra Private University in the Computer Science Department and I am currently working on enhancing the existing grammar-driven bilingual dictionary for the Cayuga language, under the supervision of Dr. Carrie Dyck.
Memorial University, funded by MUCEP (Fall 2012)
I am currently in the last semester of my undergraduate degree in Linguistics, and come January 2013 I intend to begin the Linguistics M.A. program at Memorial! I am interested in child language acquisition and phonetics, and I have been working for different professors within the Linguistics Department for several years. Two summers ago I began work in the Innu Language Research Lab, where I have had the opportunity to work with the Innu Language Project and, as of September, the COOL Project.
Undergrad (Linguistics) Memorial University, funded by MUCEP (Winter 2012)
Having recently completed my Linguistics undergraduate degree, I am excited to take my interest in linguistics to the Master's level this coming fall. I have worked on a number of projects within the Linguistics Department at Memorial University, including the Innu Language Project. These projects acquainted me with Innu-aimun and Eastern James Bay Cree and sparked my interest in polysynthetic and Aboriginal languages. I look forward to working with everyone involved in the COOL project and hope to learn some Cayuga along the way.
PhD (Linguistics) Memorial University, funded by COOL (Fall 2011)
I’m a Linguistics PhD student at Memorial University. My areas of interest are language acquisition and phonology. I have been working as a Research Assistant with the Linguistics Department at Memorial for a number of years, working on several projects, including the Chisasibi Child Language Acquisition Study, the Innu Language Project, and, recently, the COOL Project.
Undergrad (Linguistics) Memorial University, funded by MUCEP (Fall 2011)
I am currently in the final stretch of my B.A. in Linguistics and have always been interested in languages. Throughout my degree, I have learned that my primary field of interest is language preservation. I am excited to explore the Cayuga Language and to be involved in it's preservation and documentation.
Undergrad (French and Linguistics), Memorial University, funded by MUCEP (Fall 2010)
I grew up in the town of Harbour Breton on the South coast of Newfoundland. I started my undergrad at Memorial University in 2007, and will receive my degree with majors in French and Linguistics this Spring. I am planning on pursuing an M.A. in Sociolinguistics and I hope to gain some knowledge of Cayuga from this project.
M.Sc. Computer Science, Memorial University, funded by GradSWEP (Fall 2010)
I am currently a final year M.Sc. student with the Department of Computer Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. I completed my B.E. in Information & Communication Technology at Manipal Institute of Technology (Manipal University), India. My research interests include data mining, parallel & distributed computing, augmented reality, and evolutionary computing. I am developing a grammar-driven bilingual dictionary for the Cayuga language, under the supervision of Dr. Carrie Dyck. To read more about the digital dictionary, click HERE. For additional information, please visit my website: https://sites.google.com/site/ranjeetkr27.
Carrie "Janie" Johnson
Godiwęnaę Gayogoho:nǫ⁷ | Cayuga Language Nest (2010-2011)
Carrie has been involved with the Cayuga language for a number of years. She has worked as a Cayuga Immersion teacher at the primary level at I.L. Thomas. For the 2010-2011 school year, Carrie worked as the Project leader for the Pilot project Dwawęnaę⁷ Gayogo̲ho:nǫ⁷, an early learning language nest.
Project Coordinator (WCC) - (until Summer 2011)
I have been working at the WCC for a few years now, but it wasn't until recently that I discovered my passion for working on cultural and linguistic preservation in the Native community. I studied English at the University of Guelph and am currently continuing to practice my passion for languages in Spanish, Dutch, French, and of course, Gayogoho:no! Prior to taking on the position of Project Coordinator (pro tempore) in February 2011, I had been working with the COOL Team as a Data Entry Clerk, co-funded by NPAAMB and COOL, since the Fall of 2010.
Project Coordinator (WCC), Consultant (2010-2011)
Michelle Thomas has worked in the fields of education, business & healing and wellness. She has been a business owner and consultant for six years. She worked at the Woodland Cultural Centre from June of 2010 until January 2011 as CURA Coordinator and as a consultant for the project until Summer 2011. Her interest in this project is to support those who are working tirelessly to preserve our language for future generations.
Cayuga Language Technician, co-funded by NPAAMB and COOL (Fall 2010)
I started working at the COOL project as the Language Technician in July 2010 and will be here until January 2011. I’m being trained to use a program called CLAN, for the Gaihwiyo sound files. I’ve also been working on importing and re-organizing the Longhouse Speeches Catalogue. In the Language Department I have a great deal of support from Carrie Dyck, Michelle Thomas, Alfred Keye, Amos Key and Angie Monture. As the days go by, I’m finding myself learning more than I ever could have imagined regarding the Cayuga language. With that being said, I feel that we will have nothing but success coming to the COOL project.
Cayuga Language Typist, funded by GREAT (Summer 2010)