Indigenous language Immersion in Canada


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What does Indigenous Language Immersion look like? Is it possible? What needs to be done?

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Indigenous language Immersion in Canada

  1. 1. Indigenous Language Immersion in Canada <ul><li>Childhood and School Programs </li></ul>Indigenous Culture Based Education Lakehead University
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Of the 12 language groups in Canada, only 3 are predicted to survive with no immediate intervention </li></ul><ul><li>many reasons for this, including language genocide, social mobility, nationalism, reduction of indigenous populations </li></ul><ul><li>language is a person’s main link to identity, both personally and collectively as a community and is recognized as one of the most tangible symbols of culture and group </li></ul>
  3. 3. why are language programs important? <ul><li>language revitalization </li></ul><ul><li>language maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>language growth(evolving) </li></ul>...without language “songs will no longer have words...”
  4. 4. There are many different forms of indigenous language instruction...
  5. 5. Core Language Programs Core language programs focus on teaching an indigenous language in one separate class Amount of time allotted and quality of language instruction will vary depending on region and individual school
  6. 6. Language Nests Preschool immersion childcare programs conducted entirely in the home language of an indigenous group; Focus is on authentic language learning; These programs can be run from birth; Concept originated in Australia and New Zealand over 20 years ago
  7. 7. Immersion Programs <ul><li>full immersion programs will integrate the first language fully in 100% of the classes up to a determined point </li></ul><ul><li>sheltered immersion programs begin with 100% first language instruction in the early years, with english being introduced first orally and then through reading and writing as the student progresses in age and/or grade - eventually the student will receive full instruction in english </li></ul><ul><li>first language immersion programs aim to fully incorporate both language and culture into programming </li></ul>
  8. 8. Language Immersion School Akwesasne Freedom School Akwesasne, Ontario Propose: By focusing on our young people, we reverse the assimilation process and ensure that the Mohawk people do not lose their language, culture and identity .
  9. 9. Language Immersion School <ul><li>The Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen </li></ul>Akwesasne Freedom School Total Immersion = Good Public Speakers
  10. 10. Bilingual Program <ul><li>Purpose: </li></ul><ul><li>Bilingual--able to speak, read and write in Anihshiniimowin and English </li></ul><ul><li>Bicultural--know and are able to live in both cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Have the knowledge and skills to succeed in high school </li></ul>Sioux Lookout, Ontario
  11. 11. Bilingual Program <ul><li>Teaching Model </li></ul><ul><li>The Kwayaciiwin Immersion Program is bilingual and teaches students fluency and literacy in Anihshiniimowin and English. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Bilingual Program <ul><li>Services Provided by the Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre provides support services to the 24 First Nations of the Sioux Lookout District. Services provided include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Curriculum guidelines based on culture and values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curriculum resources and books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity development--training for Principals and Education Directors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional development workshops for district schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support in literacy, numeracy and student retention through FNSSP. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Does it confuse you when i refer to animals as people? In my language it is not confusing....we consider both animals and peoples to be living beings....when my people see a creature in the distance, they say awiiyak (someone is there). it is not that my people fail to distinguish animals from people. Rather, the address them with equal respect. once they are near and [identifiable]....then they use their particular name. (elder, royal commission on aboriginal peoples, 1996, p.123)
  14. 14. Strategies for Indigenous Language Revitalization and Maintenance <ul><li>Documentation and preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum/ Resources development </li></ul><ul><li>Language Engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Bilingual Schooling </li></ul><ul><li>Policy Development and Political Advocacy Research </li></ul><ul><li>Language Classes </li></ul><ul><li>Bilingual Schooling </li></ul><ul><li>Immersion Practices : Cross-generational/community based </li></ul><ul><li>**Immersion Schooling </li></ul>
  15. 15. Challenges <ul><li>Community support </li></ul><ul><li>Financial support </li></ul><ul><li>Materials development </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous teacher training </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Low number of speakers </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of language status </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of official support </li></ul><ul><li>External social, economic and political pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of interest among young people </li></ul>
  16. 16. Future Considerations <ul><li>Further training: CILLIDI (Canadian Languages and Literacy Development Institute, University of Alberta) </li></ul><ul><li>Materials development (Gift of Language, La Ronge, Saskatchewan) </li></ul><ul><li>Development of assessment tools in indigenous languages </li></ul><ul><li>Government of Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous languages must be given official status by being declared the founding languages of Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of a national Center for Indigenous languages </li></ul><ul><li>Life Span Approach to Language Revitalization and maintanance </li></ul>
  17. 17. Works cited <ul><li>Onowa McIvor. Strategies for Indigenous Language Revitalization and Maintenance. 2009-04-03. Encyclopaedia of Language and Literarily Development. 2011-10-02. < > </li></ul><ul><li>McIvor, Onowa.1998. Building the nests: Indigenous language revitalization in Canada through early childhood immersion programs . University of Victoria. </li></ul><ul><li>Pease-Pretty On Top, Janine. Native American Language Immersion: Innovative Native Education For Children & Families. 2011-10-02. </li></ul>