This workshop will explore the role historic translations can play in our understanding of the intellectual world of Indigenous societies in New France. While the material culture of these societies is well established, their philosophies are accessible only through Eurocentric interpretations or sources recorded at a later period (i.e., Oral Traditions). By bringing together translations of Indigenous speeches and the syntagms found in Indigenous-language dictionaries compiled in the 18th century, it is possible to map this intellectual world in greater depth than possible before. There will be a practical aspect of this workshop, in which attendees will be asked to engage with the source material by creating conceptual-affective models.
Andrew J. Fletcher teaches history at Champlain College Lennoxville, Sherbrooke. He holds an M.A. in History and French from the University of Glasgow (2005), a D.E.S.S. in Enseignment collégial from Université Laval (2008), and a Ph.D. awarded by the Université de Sherbrooke (2023). He is coordinator of the “Kchi al8msakw: Indigenous Language Learning Centre” (from 2022), a joint project between Bishop’s University and Champlain College Lennoxville. “Kchi al8msakw” means “the big room” in Abenaki and this project provides a forum for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and faculty in these two institutions to engage with Indigenous language and culture, particularly Abenaki. Alongside his interest in Indigenous language revitalization, he is also involved in historical research addressing Indigenous territorial revindications.