Elder Shirley Ida Eliza Williams to speak at Glendon’s International Translation Day

Shirley Ida Eliza Williams
Shirley Ida Eliza Williams
Shirley Ida Eliza Williams

Each year, translators, interpreters and scholars throughout the world celebrate International Translation Day (ITD) on or around Sept. 30.

The School of Translation at York University’s Glendon Campus organizes an annual ITD event that brings together faculty members from both York campuses, students, alumni and language professionals. This year’s event will be held at Glendon on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

In recognition of the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, the ITD theme for 2019, as selected by the International Federation of Translators & Interpreters, is Translation and Indigenous Languages.

In keeping with this year’s theme, the guest speaker at Glendon’s ITD event will be Shirley Ida Eliza Williams. Elder Williams is a member of the Bird Clan from the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island. She is a professor emerita at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., where she has taught and researched the Anishinaabe language since 1986. In 2003, she became the only Indigenous person in Canada to achieve the rank of full professor as a dual traditional scholar, in recognition of her traditional Indigenous knowledge, outstanding research and publication record.

Williams holds a BA in Indigenous studies from Trent University, a native language instructor’s diploma from Lakehead University, a certificate in curriculum development from the University of Oklahoma and a master in environmental studies from York University. In 2017, the Ontario Tech University conferred upon Williams a doctor of laws, honoris causa.

Williams has published numerous articles on Indigenous languages and cultures as well as several language-learning resources, including Gdi-nweninaa: Our Sound, Our Voice (Neganigwane Company, 2002), a collection of Ojibway and Odawa words organized and presented by themes, and Aandeg (The Crow) (Neganigwane Company, 2006), a bilingual English-Ojibway reader.

With Isadore Toulouse, Williams translated Nibi Emosaawdang / The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson into Anishinaabemowin. The bilingual edition of the book was published by Second Story Press in August of this year. Williams has also provided translation and interpreting services for various organizations, including the Ontario Ministry of Education, Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada, Heritage Canada and the Union of Ontario Indians.

This event is open the York University community and the public. RSVP to Véronique Lim at translation@glendon.yorku.ca.