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Keren Rice Print Email

KerenRiceBWKeren Rice studied Quechua (an indigenous language of the Andes in Latin America) as an undergraduate student, and really liked it. But it was not a language she could continue with – she did not have the Spanish required, and there were not speakers of the language in Toronto while she was doing her PhD. One day, a nurse who happened to be the wife of a U of T linguistics professor noticed a person from the Northwest Territories visiting a patient at the hospital speaking their indigenous language. The rest is history – a group of students worked with him during the academic year, and Keren and one other student applied for a small grant to spend a few months doing fieldwork in northern Canada in the community that this person was from. Keren headed to Fort Good Hope in 1973 and later did research in Délı̨nę. Her research has led to mapping out Dene grammar, a learned book on Athapaskan verbs and a training program for native teachers in Dene languages. She is now a world leader in the study of indigenous languages. She renewed her relationship with Délı̨nę in 2002 working with the Délı̨nę Uranium Team fieldworkers, and since 2006 has been an important mentor and collaborator with the Délı̨nę Knowledge Project and more recently the Délı̨nę Language and Stories of the Land program.