U of A student creates 3D-printed Cree syllabics kits to make learning Cree more accessible

Kaia MacLeod, University of Alberta Library’s Indigenous Intern

The kits are to be used with a star chart, which teaches users how the pronunciation of each syllabic changes with different orientations



3D-printed kits for Cree syllabics are now among the collection of Indigenous language learning tools available at the University of Alberta’s Library.

The kits, created by Kaia MacLeod, a University of Alberta Library Indigenous Intern, teaches learners how to read Cree syllabics and form words. The kits will be available once the library resumes operations. The 3D printing design is also free to download. 

Users are able to get creative with hands-on learning using the models to form words and read the syllabics. 

“I’ve seen some people use them as fridge magnets, and that is the exact thing we were thinking of. Like the typical Roman numeral fridge magnets, why not have that in another language? It makes it so much easier for us to learn,” MacLeod said. 

The models make use of a star chart to help familiarize learners with how the pronunciation of each syllabic changes based on its orientation. 

MacLeod was inspired to take on the year-long project to 3D print syllabics kits for the U of A after her sister, Lorisia created the 3D-printing patterns of the syllabics for Norquest College.

MacLeod hopes the U of A’s collection of language learning tools, including games like Go Fish in Blackfoot and the Cree syllabics kits, will make Indigenous languages more accessible and easier for people to learn. 

You can also print your own syllabics using the files here



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