Halton Hills, Ontario (PRWEB) January 22, 2016
Mike Parkhill, founder of SayITFirst, has been appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour. SayITFirst is an organization working with First Nation communities and Elders to breathe new life into Canada’s Native languages through the innovative use of technology and digital learning strategies to modernize, expand, revitalize and localize Aboriginal languages.
The Order of Ontario recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field benefiting the people of Ontario or anywhere in the world. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Order of Ontario and appointments are made based on the recommendation of an independent advisory council based on public nominations.
In 2009, Mike Parkhill left a senior position at Microsoft Canada and headed into uncharted waters by taking on a fundamental social and educational issue: revitalizing dying First Nations languages in Canada. His interest began with a Microsoft project to modernize the Inuktitut language. This interest became a full-time passion when Mike founded SayITFirst.
“Knowing what I know now, I cannot help but wonder why we ignore the resources and strategies available to establish strong self-identity and healthy individuals in early years, only to be faced with the more expensive social costs of long term damage never addressed. I would like to see a proactive funding model to give the First Nation families and children the same options for a healthy future as I have been afforded,” says Parkhill.
Mike's work has supported the work of others to change the paradigm of what is possible, using technology to aid a new generation developing their own self-identity. Studies show that building self-identity at an early age can proactively protect against teenage suicides, truancy, gang activity and substance abuse.
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, bestowed the honour to the new appointees during an investiture ceremony at Queen's Park on January 20, 2016.
“The Order of Ontario recognizes exemplary service of the highest calibre. These 25 accomplished individuals inspire us. From breaking ground in advances in health care, to speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves, to nourishing our souls through art and music, they have served this province with dedication and generosity. To them we are grateful.”
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
For more information about SayITFirst, visit the website at http://www.sayitfirst.ca or contact Mike Parkhill at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the language revitalization conversation on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SayITFirstInc/?fref=photo