Steffi Dudley

I am from northern Germany. I graduated from my hometown University of Rostock (Germany) with a degree in English linguistics, literature and cultural studies, German linguistics and sociology.

Throughout my studies, I came in touch with Native American culture and literature and grew a vivid interest in the subject. One of my literature professors told us about his experience with the Navajo. I truly enjoyed his classes, because he brought the time he spent with his Navajo friends alive in our classroom. I continued to learn about Native Americans during my exchange year at the University of Utah which added valuable angles and perspectives to my understanding.

Now I am living here in Lethbridge. Our next-door neighbours are Blackfoot. This is real. I can interact, can ask questions, can talk to the people. It seems that step by step I am moving closer to what sparked my interest when I was a child. Growing up in Eastern Germany my picture of Native American life consisted of what was portrayed in fictional novels, audio tapes and movies that were quite removed from reality.

Last summer (2016), my friend Madeline told me about her work on the Blackfoot dictionary. This is when I first heard about the Blackfoot Digital Dictionary Project. Madeline introduced me to Inge, and I was fascinated by the work she and her team had done. Since then my contributions to this project have included adding pictures to the front end and entering metadata to the back end.

This dictionary is a great resource for everyone to experience the Blackfoot language and culture, as a learner, a teacher or an enthusiast. I catch myself frequently browsing the dictionary and discovering the most interesting Blackfoot words. What a wonderful project which makes this national treasure accessible for everyone.