|Birch Bark Talking / A Resumé: of the Life and Work of the Rev. James Evans. - Booklet. - 1940.|
|Description:||Booklet on the life of Rev. James Evans, a Wesleyan / Methodist missionary who initially translated Bible passages and psalms into Ojibway, and later created writing systems for several Aboriginal languages, including Ojibwe, Cree, and indirectly Inuktitut.
Historical note:James Evans (1801-1846) was born in Kingston-upon-Hull in England, but emigrated with his parents to Lower Canada in 1820, where he worked as a teacher. He later moved to Rice Lake and continued his teaching work. In 1833 he was ordained as a Wesleyan (Methodist) minister, and in 1840 he was given authority over the local district in Norway House in Manitoba. It was during this time that Evans did his greatest work-the development of the Ojibwe and Cree syllabaries. Evans had a flair for languages and had picked up Ojibwe during his work among the people in Upper Canada. He created the Ojibwe syllabary after first trying to apply a Roman script to their language. Later, he modified the syllabary slightly and applied it to Cree, a related language. Both syllabaries are based on Pitman Shorthand.