NEȾOLṈEW̱ ‘one mind, one people’: Indigenous Language Research Network

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    Adult Indigenous contributions to reviving languages in British Columbia through Mentor-Apprentice style learning: Executive Summary
    (Netolnew, 2018) McIvor, Onowa; Jacobs, Peter
    Our joint research project studied adult Indigenous language learning in British Columbia through the popular Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) method. Increasingly, adult Indigenous language learners are identified as the “missing generation” who hold great potential to contribute to the revival of Indigenous languages and act as the middle ground between Elders, children, and youth in their communities. The research project aimed to document the successes and challenges of MAP in the BC context. Over a three-year period, we interviewed over 60 participants, including current and past apprentices, current and past language mentors, and administrators.
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    Adult Indigenous contributions to reviving languages in British Columbia through Mentor-Apprentice style learning: Assessment Tool
    (Netolnew, 2018) McIvor, Onowa; Jacobs, Peter
    The assessment tool (at) fills a gap in adult Indigenous language learning (aIll) by expanding on existing models, accounting for the unique learning context of aIll, and incorporating project participants’ feedback and input.
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    The connection between health and well-being and Indigenous language use and learning – An annotated bibliography
    (Netolnew, 2018) Sullivan, Danielle
    This annotated bibliography aims to contribute to a better understanding of and document current trends as well as gaps in the published literature on Indigenous language use and learning and their connection to health and well-being. A three-stage approach was used to identify a pool of existing literature: First, three previous literature reviews related to the topic were consulted to establish a starting point for our follow-up work. McIvor, Napoleon, and Dickie (2009) published the seminal piece in the field, and so only publications from 2009 onwards were included in our review to narrow results and ensure research was current. Secondly, the search tool Summon, which aggregates scholarly material found in various databases, journals, theses and dissertations online, and Google Scholar were used to identify research that cited articles from the three seminal literature reviews. Through this, we captured articles that cover similar topics but are more current than the originally cited article. For the final part of the review, an open search in Summon was completed, using various combinations of key words including: language, language revitalization, language learning, Indigenous, Aboriginal, Native American, well-being, wellness, health, healing, and balance. A total of 39 articles were located. We further reduced this number for our analysis by 1) only retaining articles that explicitly discussed language and its connection to health and wellbeing, and 2) by further omitting articles that explored the relationship between culture and well-being more broadly with only brief mentions of language’s relationship as a cultural component. The final 16 articles included in this annotation therefore either discuss a direct connection between language, health and wellbeing or use language as a measure for cultural continuity and its connection to health and wellbeing.
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    NEȾOLṈEW̱ Research Clusters' Report
    (NEȾOLṈEW̱ “one mind, one people”, 2023-07) Benson, Nicki; Giffen, Robyn
    The NEȾOLṈEW̱ Research Clusters’ Report for July 2023, developed by Nicki Benson and Robyn Giffen, PhD Candidates & Research Coordinators, presents insights from the Advancing Proficiency and Assessment clusters established in October 2021. Partners engaged in discussions on language revitalization research topics, sharing knowledge, challenges, and successes. The report highlights the importance of creating culturally-relevant assessment tools, addressing motivational and emotional factors in assessment, and promoting self-directed learning in Indigenous language education. Through collaborative efforts and open dialogue, partners explored innovative approaches to advancing proficiency and enhancing assessment practices in Indigenous language learning.
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    Lois, règlements et politiques concernant la revitalisation des langues autochtones au Canada et à l’échelle internationale
    (Assemblée des Premières Nations, 2021) McIvor, Onowa; Chew, Kari; Hemlock, Kanen’tó:kon
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    Legislation, Regulations, and Policies: Concerning the Revitalization of Indigenous Languages in Canada and Internationally
    (Assembly of First Nations, 2022) McIvor, Onowa; Chew, Kari; Hemlock, Kanen’tó:kon
    The primary objective of this report is to compare federal, provincial and territorial legislation, regulations and policies concerning the revitalization of Indigenous (primarily First Nations) languages in Canada. The specific aims are to: 1) have the information “all in one place”, 2) draw comparisons amongst and between legislation, regulations and policies relating to Indigenous languages in Canada. The report focuses specifically on national, provincial and territorial legislation, regulations and policies and will serve as a backgrounder for advocacy towards: 1) the full implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act, and 2) provincial and territorial legislation, policies and regulations that affect or enhance the revitalization of Indigenous languages in those jurisdictions. In addition, legislation, regulations and policies held in certain foreign jurisdictions that affect or enhance the revitalization of Indigenous languages in those jurisdictions have been included to enrich the knowledge available for guiding policy and implementation practices in Canada.
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    Learning In Relation. Creating Online Indigenous Language Courses: Introduction (Part 1/4)
    (2022-12-05) Chew, Kari A. B.; Child, S.; Sammons, O.; Souter, H.
    Through this video series, learn about creating online Indigenous language courses. Indigenous language revitalization and reclamation movements connect Indigenous Nations and organizations working to support the teaching and learning of ancestral languages. Many Indigenous language learning and teaching efforts focus on home, school, and community settings, but also important are virtual spaces. Through these short videos, we provide some information to help those who are considering creating online courses for their languages.
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    Learning In Relation. Creating Online Indigenous Language Courses: Consider Different Platforms (Part 2/4)
    (2022-12-05) Chew, Kari A. B.; Child, S.; Sammons, O.; Souter, H.
    Through this video series, learn about creating online Indigenous language courses. Indigenous Peoples use language learning and teaching technologies, including online courses, to support language revitalization. To create an online course, Indigenous communities typically partner with a technology provider which creates courses on a particular platform. 7000 Languages is a nonprofit that works closely with Indigenous, minority, and refugee communities to create language courses. Since the creation of this video, 7000 Languages work has published new courses. It offers 54 courses in 28 different languages and is continuing to release new courses in partnership with Indigenous Nations and organizations.
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    Learning in Relation. Creating Online Indigenous Language Courses: Benefits to the Community (Part 3/4)
    (2022-12-05) Chew, Kari A. B.; Child, S.; Sammons, O.; Souter, H.
    Through this video series, learn about creating online Indigenous language courses. Two examples featured in this video are the Hase’ Language Revitalization Society and Prairies to Woodlands Indigenous Language Revitalization Circle who each collaborated with 7000 Languages to create Kwak̓wala and Michif courses, respectively. While the courses share some similar features, they are also highly customized to meet the needs and goals of the community.
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    Learning in Relation. Creating Online Indigenous Language Courses: Creating and Sharing the Course (Part 4/4)
    (2022-12-05) Chew, Kari A. B.; Child, S.; Sammons, O.; Souter, H.
    Through this video series, learn about creating online Indigenous language courses. When planning or creating online Indigenous languages courses, there are considerations both large and small. Because creating an online Indigenous language course can take anywhere from several months to several years, it is essential to plan ahead! Learn what considerations to make when creating and sharing out an Indigenous language course.
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    Learning in Relation: A Guide to Creating Online Indigenous Language Courses that Center Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being
    (2022-11-04) Chew, Kari A. B.; Calls Him, Melvin; Dormer, Jackie; Tennell, Courtney
    The purpose of this guide is to share knowledge with Indigenous Nations and organizations, technology developers, and scholars who are working to center and respect Indigenous ways of knowing and being in online Indigenous language revitalization spaces, including Indigenous language courses.
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    Persistence in Indigenous language work during the covid-19 pandemic
    (Alternative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 2022-09) Chew, Kari A. B.; McIvor, Onowa; Hemlock, Kanen’tó:kon; Marinakis, Aliki
    Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Indigenous communities have persisted in Indigenous language revitalization and reclamation efforts. This research utilized a scan of social media, a survey, and interviews, conducted in the summer and fall of 2020 and primarily focused on Canada, to explore: What shifts to support Indigenous language work occurred during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic? and What were the impacts of these shifts on Indigenous language revitalization and reclamation? This article discusses six cross-cutting themes: (a) shifting and adapting language work to ensure community health and safety, (b) building capacity to make necessary shifts and adaptations, (c) facing challenges in shifting online, (d) promoting Indigenous languages online and in community, (e) creating and sharing language resources as alternative or increased activity, and (f) (re-)envisioning language education and pedagogy in a pandemic time. These themes exemplify Indigenous persistence in Indigenous language revitalization and reclamation work during the pandemic.
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    Indigenous language revitalization and applied linguistics: Paralleled histories, shared futures? What can we learn from each other? [Keynote address]
    (American Association of Applied Linguistics, 2021-03-20) McIvor, Onowa
    If one measures time in millennia, it has been a relatively short time since Indigenous languages flourished across the Americas. Indigenous communities were necessarily multilingual for purposes of trade, travel and intermarriage, and languages continued naturally through intergenerational transmission. The rise of and need for Indigenous language revitalization (ILR) is a relatively new societal phenomenon and academic field of study. As the ILR literature develops, it has become clear that ILR does not fit neatly into any single academic discipline; it uniquely borrows from and contributes to various other fields of study. Applied Linguistics is one such field, and many ILR scholars believe Applied Linguistics to be the most productive alliance to pursue. Yet, the fields of Applied Linguistics and Additional/Second Language Acquisition have developed almost entirely without attention to ILR and instead focused on immigrant populations, heritage and foreign language learners. This talk explores the similarities and important departures as well as the tensions and possibilities for stronger connections and sharing of knowledge across these fields of study, and argues for greater collective engagement in this work (McIvor, 2018). The damages done to Indigenous languages were due to colonial forces, some of which continue to this day, and many believe efforts to revive them should involve more than Indigenous peoples alone. Those working in applied linguistics hold specific knowledge and skills that could be extended to ILR to great gains. For instance, ILR has much to benefit from the decades of fruitful research on the impacts of socio-cultural contexts on language learning and maintenance, as well as optimal conditions for addition language learning. Simultaneously, Applied Linguistics could also be enriched by greater exposure to Indigenous language learning contexts and the particular teaching and learning methods have been developed therein, which often differ from those widely studied in the literature. More broadly, ILR brings a novel social justice opportunity to the field of Applied Linguistics and one that some members may find themselves being called on to contribute. I conclude with the suggestion that more purposeful work across these two fields could build capacity amongst both ILR and AL scholars. This capacity is essential to maximize the knowledge and resources available to maintain, revitalize and strengthen revitalization efforts of the Indigenous languages around the world.
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    Beyond bilingualism: Indigenous languages’ place in the lands now called Kanata [Keynote address]
    (Canadian Centre for Studies and Research on Bilingualism and Language Planning (CCERBAL), 2021-04-29) McIvor, Onowa
    The road to the creation of language policy in Canada doomed Indigenous languages from the beginning, ignored from the time of Confederation in 1867 (Derwing and Munro, 2007). “Canada has been officially bilingual since its founding” notes Gourd (2007, p. 122). Colonial attitudes towards Indigenous people denied their involvement when language policy was being determined in Canada. The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism established in 1963, through both title and intention pre-determined the outcomes in relation to Indigenous languages as its focus was limited to the “two founding races” (Innis, 1973, Foreword). From this basis of cultural and linguistic imperialism, Indigenous languages were treated as if they did not exist. Hague & Patrick (2014) explain, “indigenous language interests continued to be marginalised in policy priorities shaped by the Canadian state's colonialist and racist underpinnings…. [and] little place for indigenous languages was recognised by those with the power to shape Canadian policy” (p. 28). After more than a century of exclusion, following decades of Indigenous advocacy efforts, the Government of Canada passed an Act Respecting Indigenous Languages (Bill C-91, 2019). Now, adequate implementation and long-term, stable funding for Indigenous language education to ensure language survival is needed. With adequate resources – and efforts of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – Indigenous languages could be restored within three generations. A national project led by Indigenous language champions, educators, scholars, and non-Indigenous allies from across Canada came together in 2016 to engage in positive action through a federally-funded, Indigenous-led language revitalization research project, entitled NEȾOLṈEW (one mind-one people). The name signifies the spirit of collaboration and unity towards the goal of Indigenous language revitalization and maintenance, embracing the diversity of languages across distinctive Indigenous communities and cultures. The overall goals of the project are to document successful language programs, strengthen leadership capacity, share knowledge, and create political pressure for federal, provincial and territorial action that provides meaningful support for Indigenous language retention, revitalization and recovery. This collaborative agenda across language groups and communities, together with settler-allies, is critical in the continuation and revival of Indigenous languages. These languages are “part of our shared heritage as Canadians” (FPCC, 2014) and therefore our shared futures and shared responsibility too. Together we must take a stand to restore Indigenous languages, the original of these lands, a place where languages should thrive alongside, not instead of each other.
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    Growing the Fire Within: Exploring Innovative and Successful Adult Language Learning Methods in Indigenous Communities in Canada and the US
    (NETOLNEW, 2021) Chew, Kari A. B.; Manatowa-Bailey, Jacob; Lukaniec, Megan; McIvor, Onowa; Linn, Mary
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    NEȾOLṈEW̱ “one mind, one people”: Relationship and community-based ILR research in Canada
    (International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation, 2021-03-04) McIvor, Onowa; Jacobs, Peter; Gould, Blair; Hill, Callie; Swallow, Tye
    We will discuss the guiding principles and governance structure of NEȾOLṈEW̱, a national research partnership of Indigenous scholars and community leaders involved in Indigenous language revitalization in Canada, and share how we work as a collective. We will also give an update on Partner and other research projects underway.
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    #KeepOurLanguagesStrong: Indigenous Language Revitalization on Social Media during the Early COVID-19 Pandemic
    (Language, Documentation and Conservation, 2021) Chew, Kari A. B.
    Indigenous communities, organizations, and individuals work tirelessly to #KeepOurLanguagesStrong. The COVID-19 pandemic was potentially detrimental to Indigenous language revitalization (ILR) as this mostly in-person work shifted online. This article shares findings from an analysis of public social media posts, dated March through July 2020 and primarily from Canada and the US, about ILR and the COVID-19 pandemic. The research team, affiliated with the NEȾOLṈEW̱ “one mind, one people” Indigenous language research partnership at the University of Victoria, identified six key themes of social media posts concerning ILR and the pandemic, including: 1. language promotion, 2. using Indigenous languages to talk about COVID-19, 3. trainings to support ILR, 4. language education, 5. creating and sharing language resources, and 6. information about ILR and COVID-19. Enacting the principle of reciprocity in Indigenous research, part of the research process was to create a short video to share research findings back to social media. This article presents a selection of slides from the video accompanied by an in-depth analysis of the themes. Written about the pandemic, during the pandemic, this article seeks to offer some insights and understandings of a time during which much is uncertain. Therefore, this article does not have a formal conclusion; rather, it closes with ideas about long-term implications and future research directions that can benefit ILR.