“Storytelling has been an oral tradition that helped our First Nations people to understand their heritage and identity. Unfortunately, of the 255 indigenous languages once spoken across Turtle Island, almost 100 [languages] have died due to the assimilation programs. Today, it is a conservative estimate that [over] 90% of First Nations people do not read their native language and the colonial language is now the one most used by our people.”Terry Wildman, CEO of Rain Ministries
Entrenched in generational experiences defined by church-run residential schools, many First Nations people hold onto their mistrust towards Christianity. Their collective experiences have left a people group caught in a vicious cycle of socio-economic challenges, and now they struggle to break free from the stigmas they currently face.
It is estimated that only 5% of all First Nations people are Christian, and probably one of the least reached people groups in North America.
The First Nations Version (FNV) New Testament is a culturally rich translation written by and for the First Nations community across Turtle Island (North America); with over 25 First Nations/Native Americans individuals having contributed to the project; either as translators, reviewers, accuracy checkers, or cultural consultants.
As well as being a dynamic English translation, the FNV is composed in a more traditional oral storytelling style and rooted in Biblical accuracy while maintaining a language naturalness and cultural sensitivity. The FNV Translation Council was established to ensure relevant key terms were exegetically chosen, and used a Scripture translation software program to help assign key terms to the original Greek root words for greater accuracy. The FNV project team confidently believes that the FNV will help First Nations people to resonate with the biblical story from a fresh perspective as it is told in a more traditional style of speaking. Their desire is to see the First Nations people find healing in the words of The Creator.
The FNV New Testament is expected to be completed in 2019, and the first in a series of compilations books has recently been printed.