What’s New in Education? (Fall Term)


Course description

Supporting Multilingualism Towards Indigenous Language Revitalization in Canada

Friday, Sept. 14: 12:30 to 1:45 pm

Presenter: Onowa McIvor, PhD, Department of Indigenous Education

Language issues can be sites of tensions between Indigenous and immigrant peoples in Canada. Yet, both groups struggle for the right and opportunities to maintain and/or revive their mother tongues. This presentation will explore the possibilities for better language policies and mutual support for minority language maintenance and revitalization efforts of Indigenous and new-immigrant populations in Canada. This topic will be explored also through a research partnership project with 9 Indigenous partners from across Canada specifically addressing Indigenous adult language learning. Increasingly, adults are identified as the "missing generation” of learners who hold great potential to contribute to the revival of Indigenous languages in Canada by acting as the middle ground between Elders, children and youth within their communities. The strong Indigenous partner connections and networks that exist, bring breadth and strength to this pan-Canadian partnership. Together we are working to achieve realistic language revitalization outcomes and develop a national network of those working at the core of Indigenous language revitalization.

Dr. Onowa McIvor is maskiko-nehiyaw (Swampy Cree) and Scottish-Canadian. Her nehiyaw family is from Norway House and Cross Lake in northern Manitoba. She currently resides in SENĆOŦEN and Lekwungen speaking territories. Onowa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria and co-leads a six-year SSHRC Partnership Grant working to understand and enhance Indigenous adults’ contributions to reviving Indigenous languages in Canada. Onowa’s research focuses on all areas within Indigenous language revitalization, sociocultural language learning, and additional language learning.

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