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Episode 3

Eric Armstrong
Sera-Lys McArthur

In this episode, Paul talks with guests Sera-Lys McArthur (a mixed-race Canadian actress) and Eric Armstrong (professor of theatre at York University in Toronto). While the speech of indigenous people (particularly those of North America) is the broad topic, Eric and Paul also talk at length about the politics and ethics of dialect work in theatre and film, and of the gathering of dialect samples from indigenous speech donors. You will hear a clip from Sera-Lys McArthur’s miniseries, The Englishman’s Boy. The text and translation of the Nakota speech you will hear in that clip is as follows:

Eeneedukabee hay. Weebazoga yuka kyana.
Are you hungry? There are Saskatoon berry bushes nearby.

Hee, owa-yagay washtay
Oh, that is very pretty!

Duka wakta, weebazoga oda nuda shten nee-‘ray neeyazakta
Be careful: if you eat too many Saskatoon berries, your stomach will really hurt.

And for more information on this topic, you might check out a new short film titled To Wake Up the Nakota Language. Described as “a tender portrait of Armand McArthur, the last fluent speaker of the Nakota language in Pheasant Rump First Nation, Treaty 4 territory in southern Saskatchewan,” the film is playing the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in May.