Northern Translation Brief: 2023 Translator Workshop Staff

Workshop Staff (10)

Bill Jancewicz, (staff) coordinator/instructor, SIL AmArea
Norma Jean Jancewicz, (staff) coordinator/facilitator, SIL AmArea
Meg Billingsley, (staff) SIL consultant, instructor, SIL AmArea
Dan Grove, (staff) WBTC Project Liaison, Wycliffe Canada
Alice Reed, (staff), SIL Global Consultant Pool, instructor
Martin Reed, (guest) staff spouse, Wycliffe Canada
Grace Reed (age 5), (staff child)
Kai Reed (age 3), (staff child)
Jeff Green, (staff) instructor, CBS Director, Scripture Translation, Canadian Bible Society
Ben Wukasch, (staff) instructor, CBS translation consultant, Canadian Bible Society
Ruth Heeg, (staff) consultant, instructor, CBS (retired)
Tom Scott, (staff) instructor, Wycliffe Canada
Bethany Scott, (guest) staff spouse
Anna Scott (age 1), (staff child)
Julia Liu, (staff) Childcare volunteer, West Houston Chinese Church
Paulo Liu, (guest) Childcare volunteer spouse
Tabitha Liu (age 7) , (staff child)
Jayden Liu (age 5), (staff child)
Guests and observers (11)
Colleen Boyd , SIL AmArea North Language Services Coordinator, SIL AmArea
Carletta Lahn , SIL AmArea North Scripture Access Services Team Leader, SIL AmArea
Chris Pierson , SIL AmArea Staff Development – Associate Team Leader, SIL AmArea
Tom Woodward , SIL AmArea North Regional Director, SIL AmArea
Martin Reed, Wycliffe Canada Indigenous Partnerships
Chris Harper, National Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada (TUESDAY)
Kevin Schlechter, CBS regional director, Canadian Bible Society (WEDNESDAY)
Gyoojun Lee, Wycliffe Chinese Diaspora Engagement Advisor, Wycliffe Canada
Anna Sklar, Prayer Ministries Communication Coordinator, Wycliffe Canada
Bill Gardner, East Asia Group IT Manager, SIL; retired professor, University of Guelph
Gord & Janice Sisler, donors and friends (WEDNESDAY)
(Some of the staff and some of the guests will only be with us for part of the week, most for just part of a day).

Thank you for remembering these during the workshop. Pray for their families back home, for their travels and health, and for God’s work in their lives.

November 5, 2023 Guelph, Ontario

Northern Translation Brief: 2023 Translator Workshop Participants

Workshop Participants / First Nations translators (17)

Sylvia Tailfeathers, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Kainai
Myrna Stevens, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Siksiká
Raymonda Waterchief, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Siksiká
Angie Ayoungman, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Siksiká
Rosie Jane Tailfeathers, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Kainai
Marlene Big Sorrel Horse, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Kainai
Larry Waterchief, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Siksiká
Vincent Yellow Old Woman, Blackfoot Confederacy Treaty 7 Territory, Siksiká
Venerable Jacqui Durand, Treaty 7 Territory, Metis/Cree
Ruby Sandy-Robinson, Kawawachikamach, Naskapi
Alma Chemaganish, Kawawachikamach, Naskapi
Marianne M. Chescappio , Kawawachikamach, Naskapi
Maggie Mokoush Swappie , Kawawachikamach, Naskapi
Silas Nabinicaboo , Kawawachikamach, Naskapi
Susan Nabinicaboo , Kawawachikamach, Naskapi
Robert Swappie, Kawawachikamach, Naskapi
George Guanish, Kawawachikamach, Naskapi

Thank you for remembering these during the workshop. Pray for their families back home, for their travels and health, and for God’s work in their lives.

November 5, 2023 Guelph, Ontario

Northern Translation Brief 03Mar2020

Our Dear Partners,

Today we would value your prayers for three major concerns that we are carrying right now:

  1. First Nations Translator Workshop
  2. Bill’s mom’s heath
  3. New children in our care

    Last year’s First Nations Translator Workshop

    2020 First Nations Translator Workshop

    We have been working hard preparing for this year’s First Nations Translator Workshop to be held in Guelph Ontario, Canada, this March 29 to April 3. There are a dozen staff members serving with us, preparing workshop sessions and presentations for an expected 15 or so indigenous participants from three or four different First Nations languages all across Northern Canada.

    Pray that God will bring the right people together and guide us to provide better access to His Message in their languages.

    Bill’s mom, Martha Jancewicz, feeding the chickadees this past September at Nico & Brooklyn’s wedding in British Columbia

    Bill’s mom and her health

    Bill’s mom, Martha Jancewicz, is 93 years old and has been extremely active and healthy her entire life. Just a few weeks ago she was suffering from a sore throat due to what she thought was a stubborn cold. After a few visits to the doctors last month we were all saddened to learn that she has been diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer in her lungs and throat. Just yesterday she had emergency surgery at Yale-New Haven hospital in Connecticut for a tracheotomy to restore her breathing. She will be there for the next week and we are all waiting for an update after a biopsy.

    Pray for her comfort, her spirit and for God’s peace and wisdom for all of the family during these difficult and uncertain days.

    Joseph (9-years-old) and his sister Emma (10-years-old)
    (Their faces in this picture are blurred intentionally to protect their privacy)

    New children in our care

    While we were traveling last month, the local Children’s Aid Society asked us to take in two children who needed a family resource home. Joseph and Emma have moved in last week and are a part of our family now for as long as they need a loving and safe home to be in. We are making school lunches and reading stories at bedtime and doing all the things that they need to be secure, in partnership with Children’s Aid.

    Pray that we continue to look to God for his strength, grace and wisdom as we learn to parent Emma and Joseph together.

    Thank you again for your prayers with us for:

    1. The Workshop
    2. Bill’s mom
    3. Joseph & Emma

    Gratefully serving with you,
    Bill & Norma Jean

    PS: We may be able to give you more details on any of these requests if you ask us off-line (by email)

Northern Translation Brief: 2022 Translator Workshop Participants

Workshop Participants / First Nations translators

George Guanish, Kawawachikamach Quebec, Naskapi
Ruby Sandy-Robinson, Kawawachikamach Quebec, Naskapi
Alma Chemaganish, Kawawachikamach Quebec, Naskapi
Maggie Mokoush-Swappie, Kawawachikamach Quebec, Naskapi
Robert Swappie Kawawachikamach, Quebec, Naskapi
Rev. Ruth Kitchekesik, Kingfisher Lake Ontario, Oji-Cree
Jessie Atlookan, Kingfisher Lake Ontario, Oji-Cree
Yvonne Winter, Kingfisher Lake Ontario, Oji-Cree
Dominick Beardy, Kingfisher Lake Ontario, Oji-Cree
Bishop Larry Isaiah Beardy, Tataskwayak Manitoba, Swampy Cree
Elizabeth Beardy, Tataskwayak Manitoba, Swampy Cree

Thank you for remembering these in during the workshop. Pray for their families back home, for their travels and health, and for God’s work in their lives.

April 7-12, 2019 Guelph, Ontario

Northern Translation Brief 17Oct2014

Our dear partners,

Yesterday we passed the 8000-mile mark (highway miles) in our Fall 2014 discovery and ministry tour. We have been on the road since August 24 and we still have weeks to go. Thank you for your prayers for safety and travel mercies.IMG_8422

As you remember, the first half of our trip also had us putting on air-miles as well, as we flew up to Kingfisher Lake, Ontario to meet with the Oji-Cree speakers there who are eager to begin their own Bible translation project (500 mile round trip). Then we met with Canadian Bible Society folks in Kitchener, Ontario for a few days before going back up to Kawawachikamach, where we were thoroughly encouraged by the Naskapi Bible translation and Scripture engagement progress (2000 mile round trip).

Over the past two weeks we visited with old friends, supporters and encouragers, and with new friends and their churches in Sutton VT, Baltimore MD, Pinehurst NC, Kennesaw GA, Clearwater FL, Chatsworth GA, Piedmont SC, Zebulon NC, Linthicum Heights MD, and Wynnewood PA. Along the way we shared our vision for the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative–training mother-tongue First Nations translators to gain the skills need to meet their Bible translation needs.

We still have several appointments yet, including Newport RI (Fri), Waterford CT (Sat), Derry NH (Sun), Old Mystic CT (Mon), Norwich CT (next Sunday Oct 26) and Houghton NY (Monday Oct 27)In between we are attending the Algonquian Linguistics Conference held at the Mohegan Tribal Nation in Uncasville, CT, where Bill is making a presentation about Naskapi adult literacy and grammar.

Finally we will point west and head back to British Columbia arriving the first weekend of November.

What kind of trip is a “discovery and ministry tour”? Much of it has been ministering to First Nations people with a view to providing them with access to the Scriptures in their language. But the other part of this tour is to share this vision with all of you who read these messages. Missionaries used to call these “deputation” trips, and these days the jargon calls them “partnership development” or “PD”. These are not just veiled references to “support raising”, because the goal is to engage you all in the vision that God has given us, and invite you to share in it in a personal way. IMAG0040Many of you have indicated their willingness to begin to or continue to pray for us; and some have indicated that they would be participating in helping to fund our work by giving to Wycliffe for our support. The fact is, our leadership has urged us to bring our support level up to 100% as we launch out into this initiative that has the potential of putting God’s Word into so many more hearts that are still waiting to hear. If you feel that God is prompting you to begin to partner with us in this way and to meet our support shortfall, please contact us and we will show you how you can do that, or visit the Wycliffe websites:

Wycliffe USA

Wycliffe Canada

Blessings, Bill and Norma Jean

contact us:

read other installments of these “Northern Translation Briefs”

Northern Translation Brief: First Nations in Canada

Our Dear Partners,

As you are all aware, the Naskapi Bible translation project is just one of dozens of languages across Canada still spoken by First Nations people. Some are so closely related to Naskapi that we understand them and they understand us very well–such as the Mushuau Innu in Natuashish, Labrador or the Northern East Cree at Whapmagoostui on Hudson Bay. Still, there are many other communities across the north part of Canada clear west over to the Rocky Mountains where there are people who speak related dialects that are like each other but less and less like Naskapi.

Some of these languages have had a long history of Bible translation work in them, like Plains Cree, Moose Cree, Montagnais, Atikamekw, Algonquin, and Southern East Cree, with translated New Testaments or whole Bibles in those languages.

Some of these languages have work going on by our contemporaries and colleagues even now, and people who have waited for many years are just hearing the gospel in their own mother tongue for the first time.

Yet still some speakers of these languages are still waiting for translations in their own mother tongue.

C-N-M Communities mapThis week, we have an opportunity to meet and discover how God is at work in many of these communities across Canada, and how we might be used to help all of the First Nations language speakers in Canada to have adequate access to God’s Word. Representatives from the Canadian Bible Society, our own field director, and other interested parties will be meeting together with us all day on Thursday at CanIL (the Canadian Institute of Linguistics) here in British Columbia to:

  • Pray together
  • Share how God has been at work in the existing projects we have all been involved in
  • Look at the big picture of how God is at work in all the other language communities in Canada
  • Discuss how we may be used by God in our partnerships together with the Bible Society, SIL/Wycliffe, and the First Nations communities that are still waiting for God’s word in their mother tongue, and continue to help the Naskapi with their goals

On Friday, Bill and Norma Jean will be meeting with our field director to pray and discuss our ways we can work to best meet the language development needs of many communities including and beyond Naskapi.

On that same day, Bill and Norma Jean will be celebrating the work that God has done in the Naskapi project with a presentation to the entire staff and student body at CanIL, and challenging them to consider how they might be involved in the work that remains in Canada in the future.

Later that day, we will join our field director meeting with some of the linguistics students who have expressed an interest in First Nations language work in Canada. Maybe God will use some of them to join us in the work.

You can pray with us,

  • that we will be sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit as we meet together this week,
  • that God will continue to work in the hearts of First Nations communities who we would partner with to do translation work,
  • that God would open our eyes so that we can see where the fields are ripe,
  • that He might send more workers into His harvest field here among the First Nations languages of Canada that are still waiting to hear the Good News in their heart language.

Serving with you,
Bill and Norma Jean