Languages in Peril in Rainforest Communities
It's Not Just the Rainforest: Endangered Languages in the Brazilian Amazon
Fr. Ron MacDonell, Ph.D., is a Scarboro Missions priest based in
Toronto, Canada, where he currently serves as Vicar General of his
institute. He was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and joined Scarboro
Missions as a lay missionary in 1980, working for two years among the
Tzotzil people of Chiapas, Mexico. He was ordained a priest in 1986 and
assigned to parish work in the Brazilian Amazon.
For the last twenty years, Fr. Ron has lived among the Makushi people of Roraima State in northern Brazil, sharing life and studying their language. He obtained
formal linguistic training (MA in Phonology, Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics
at Université Laval, Québec, Canada) and as his principal ministry, Fr.
Ron has concentrated on language revitalization in Makushi communities,
helping teachers and leaders to publish books (dictionaries, school
workbooks, collections of legends) and to produce short radio programs.
Fr. Ron has also accompanied other indigenous peoples (Wapichana,
Yanomami, Kokama, Nheengatu, Tukano) throughout the Amazon region in the
revitalization of their languages. He will discuss his work at Seton
Hall University on Nov. 21, 2013 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. in Arts and Sciences
Hall 107. All are invited to attend.
For more information please contact: