After finding few digital resources available, Delaney Lothian decided to create a game and app for learning Cree language.

March 10, 2021 By Anna Holtby

Source: Folio/University of Alberta

Master’s student Delaney Lothian created an app and a game for Cree language learners, with the goal of supporting Indigenous peoples as they connect with their cultures through language. (Photo: Jordon Hon/Office of the Registrar)

Delaney Lothian jumped at the chance to take an introductory Cree language course—an opportunity to expand beyond the programming languages of her computing science major at the University of Alberta.

Like any 21st-century student, she turned to the internet for help. To her surprise, she found very few digital resources for Cree.

“The kind of stuff that is missing is super basic. I was like, ‘I know basic programming.’ And so that kind of planted the seed,” said Lothian.

She would go on to dedicate the remainder of her undergraduate degree to creating tools that support Indigenous language learners. In addition to an app that helps conjugate verbs, she has also created a Space Invaders-inspired game to help learners connect Cree sounds to the written language.