FirstVoices Keyboard allows Indigenous people to type, text, and tweet in their traditional language. The app gives users access to over 100 Indigenous languages from Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
The goal of the app is to rejuvenate endangered languages in our mobile age. Indigenous education professor at the University of Victoria Trish Rosborough said:
“One thing we need to happen is for the languages to become part of our everyday life. Texting, Facebook messaging, using different forms of media is something we do every day … so to bring our Indigenous languages that we’re working hard to revitalizing into that space just gives it one more opportunity to be alive in our lives.”
When the FirstVoices Keyboard app is installed on a mobile phone or tablet, any one of the 100+ custom keyboards can be activated in any application on the device. Users are able to select their keyboard(s) of choice within their email, social media, word processing or other apps, enabling unlimited communication in their mother language.
The FirstVoices Keyboard app is the first such innovation to offer multilingual Indigenous language literacy tools within multiple applications for both Apple and Android mobile devices.
FirstVoices Keyboard is available as a free download from the App Store. The app requires any device running iOS 8.3 or later.