The principal goal of this initiative is to develop and implement a language assessment tool led by First Nations and educational institutions. The hope is that fluent First Nations language speakers would then be able to participate in a teacher education program in order to become a credentialed teacher.
Students in the Bachelor of Education (Secondary) program are required to take 36 credits of coursework in their major subject area. In order to produce an ‘equivalency’ with this requirement, we would look for a way to provide fluent First Nations language speakers with a credential that could be used in lieu of most or all of the 36 credits of coursework in the language identified as their major subject area. The language credentialing process would be developed by the First Nation and their educational institutions.
A Memorandum of Relational Understanding (MORU) was established between Yellowhead Tribal College and the University of Alberta. Yellowhead Tribal College has collaborated with Elders and Knowledge Keepers and created an Indigenous Languages Assessment tool that will allow for the process for transfer to, at most, 30 University of Alberta credits for the Secondary Education Program. To date, a Language Assessment Tool has been created by Yellowhead Tribal College for Cree, Stoney, and Anishinaabe; with members and Elders working towards a tool for Dënesųłiné.
The office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research) is presently working to build and foster relationships with other colleges and communities in order to establish collaborations that will allow Language Assessment Tools to be created for other Indigenous Languages.
Language Assessment Tools for other Indigenous languages need to be created. In addition, there will need to be training and field testing for the Language Assessment Tools. A system for the testing will need to be put into place – the assessment tools will be owned by Indigenous communities and / or educational institutions.
Bursary funds will be available (until 2023) for students/language holders to receive a language assessment and bridge their education into a teacher education program. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and details.