Revitalizing Indigenous languages is a collaborative journey, and the active participation of skilled teachers and dedicated speakers in necessary. It hinges on the engagement and support of communities and Elders, who are instrumental in making sure the language is not only accurately recorded but also shared through effective teaching methodologies. Access to comprehensive resources and robust support systems is vital for teachers. Their fluency and pedagogical competence are the cornerstones in developing impactful language programs. This, in turn, fosters greater confidence among language speakers, creating a positive environment that also bolsters the confidence of learners.
Champions of Indigenous language learning, possessing deep knowledge and experience, are indispensable. Their presence and active participation across diverse settings – from workplaces and schools to homes – are critical. This holistic approach nurtures a learning environment where confidence promotes motivation, forming a strong foundation for the preservation and flourishing of Indigenous languages. This journey is not just about language acquisition; it’s a path to cultural empowerment and a testament to the resilience of Indigenous communities.
Empowering Indigenous Language Education
SILR is proud to highlight a series of educational initiatives executed by CILLDI. These specialized training courses, meticulously designed and delivered online and in-person, represent CILLDI’s commitment to advancing Indigenous language education. SILR’s support in these endeavours emphasizes its dedication to empowering communities through language learning and teaching, ensuring the vibrancy and continuity of Indigenous linguistic heritage. Each course is tailored to meet the unique needs of different Indigenous languages and communities, reflecting the collaborative approach to nurturing language revitalization.
Cree Language Enchancement
CILLDI has enhanced Cree language learning by offering six specialized online training courses tailored for Educational Assistants at Maskwacîs Education School Commission, focusing on professional growth and linguistic skills.
Tsuut’ina Language Mastery
In collaboration with Elder Bruce Starlight, CILLDI has facilitated language mastery through three in-person training courses for Tsuut’ina language speakers, learners, and educators, enriching teaching and learning experiences.
Paul First Nation Language Revitilization
CILLDI’s contribution to language preservation at Paul First Nation includes two online training courses designed to foster effective language revitalization strategies and learning methodologies.
Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation Literacy and Analysis
Aiming at strengthening linguistic capabilities, CILLDI delivered two in-person courses for the Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation, concentrating on elevating literacy and language analysis skills among speakers and educators.
The key to long-term sustainability for Indigenous languages lies in the ability of individuals and communities to protect, preserve, promote, practice and pass on their languages to the next generation. The Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies – Indigenous Language Sustainability provides students the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by Indigenous language communities in Canada and around the world, as well as the strategies that can support the intergenerational sustainability of those languages. The courses offer a blend of theory and practice, weaving together Indigenous knowledges and worldviews with the latest research on practical approaches to sustaining Indigenous languages in the home and community.
Evaluation in Indigenous language revitalization is a crucial process that involves assessing the effectiveness and progress of language revival efforts. It aims to empower project partners and communities by developing their capacity to monitor and evaluate their own language revitalization initiatives.
Integral to our programming, evaluation encompasses offering tailored support to communities and organizations. This includes facilitating various evaluation activities like conducting assessments, surveys, and information-gathering sessions. These activities are designed to align with the specific needs and goals of each community, ensuring a tailored approach to track and foster the growth of their language revitalization endeavors.
Cultivating Indigenous Wisdom in Education: BStLB’s Collaboration with SILR for Community Empowerment
Enhanced by the collaboration and support from SILR, BStLB’s journey into educational outreach has further flourished.
This partnership has enabled BStLB to extend its reach into public schools, particularly in the Wood Buffalo/Fort McMurray region, amplifying its impact on Indigenous education. SILR’s backing has been instrumental in creating unique experiences for K-6 schools, allowing BStLB to visit classrooms multiple times a year.
This collaboration has broadened the scope of BStLB’s educational platform and enriched its content, ensuring that more Indigenous children, youth, and families are exposed to the program’s valuable teachings and practices.
Young Indigenous Women’s Circle of Leadership
The Young Indigenous Women’s Circle of Leadership (YIWCL) is a dynamic program designed to empower Indigenous women aged 10-19. Focusing on languages and cultures, YIWCL nurtures self-worth, pride, and mutual respect through immersive experiences. SILR collaborates with YIWCL, supporting these efforts to preserve and invigorate Indigenous languages as a fundamental aspect of Indigenous knowledge transmission and cultural empowerment.
Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute
Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI) is an initiative dedicated to revitalizing Canada’s Indigenous languages that involves the documentation, teaching, and enhancement of literacy in these languages. CILLDI offers a range of classes that assist Indigenous learners in beginning or advancing their language journey, including specially designed courses for Indigenous language teachers, which are eligible for university credits. Further, CILLDI collaborates closely with communities, supporting their endeavors in language revitalization. SILR works in tandem with CILLDI, contributing to these efforts by facilitating the preservation and promotion of Indigenous languages, thereby enriching the cultural fabric of Indigenous communities.
Braiding Stories to Live By
Braiding Stories to Live By (BStLB) is a unique program dedicated to empowering Indigenous young women through gatherings that are tailored to each community’s needs. These five-day summer gatherings, along with seasonal call-back sessions, foster a circle of intergenerational knowledge among Indigenous women. The program also integrates initiatives like the Indigenous Preservice Teachers Collaborative Model and a high school course for credit, focusing on Indigenous Knowledge, Identity, and Relational Research & Pedagogy. SILR collaborates with BStLB, supporting these efforts to intertwine traditional wisdom, language, and contemporary wellness practices, thereby enriching the well-being and cultural understanding of Indigenous young women
CILLDI is excited to announce a comprehensive update to our curriculum, ensuring our programs remain at the forefront of linguistic and interdisciplinary studies. We’ve meticulously revised our courses, infusing them with the latest content, integrating new resources and engaging learning activities. This revision reflects our commitment to providing a dynamic and enriching educational experience.
In our continuous pursuit of excellence, CILLDI has extensively reviewed Indigenous language revitalization programs across Canada. This initiative aims to gather insights to refine and develop the curriculum for the University of Alberta’s certificate, diploma, and degree programs. This endeavour underscores our dedication to playing a leading role in Indigenous language preservation and revitalization.
Moreover, we are currently in the process of revitalizing our Education courses. This overhaul involves updating course material and incorporating novel resources and activities. We aim to enhance the learning journey, aligning it with contemporary educational needs and practices.
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