Hello! My name is Aaron Martel. I grew up in Didsbury, Alberta, and have recently graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a B.A. in French. I came to study languages after taking my first German class six years ago, and I immediately fell in love with the subject. Every language presents a unique way of making sense of the world around us, and a link with the culture that speaks it. The study of language has been a source of great personal growth for me, opening my mind to new ways of thinking and fostering greater knowledge of the world at large. I hope to continue my studies in the future and to enable and encourage others to pursue the study of languages.

I began helping with the Blackfoot Dictionary after hearing from some classmates who had previously worked on it. I was excited by the prospect of helping to document and preserve the Blackfoot language. My role in this project was to process audio recordings of fluent Blackfoot speakers and to link them with entries in the dictionary. Though I am glad to live in an officially bilingual country, Indigenous languages are unfortunately not given the same distinction as English or French and face the danger of eventual extinction. I hope that this project can help to capture the knowledge of the Blackfoot, and that younger generations can maintain this cultural link with their ancestors.

I’d like to thank professor Inge Genee for allowing me to take part in this exciting and important project, as well as all other contributors. Finally I’d like to thank my many wonderful professors at the U of L who showed me how much there is to love about language.