Supporting

Increase the number of teachers, both in and outside the classroom, who are capable of weaving Indigenous teaching styles into their language instruction practice. This includes helping teachers to become more proficient in their language, training fluent speakers in language-teaching methods, and enhancing capacity of those teaching in non-academic settings.

Appropriate programs and resources for teachers support effective teaching, which provides language learners to experience confidence and competence in speaking the language. Learners are more likely to embrace their Indigenous identities and cultures when given safe and welcoming spaces to connect to Indigenous ways of knowing and relating.

Our Team

The SILR team is a dynamic and diverse collective, comprising dedicated Indigenous leaders, esteemed scholars, and enthusiastic community members. The SILR team are enriched by the presence of both seasoned experts and eager language learners, including speakers who bring the richness of their culture and languages. Together, as Indigenous Language advocates and allies, SILR is united in collaborative efforts towards the vital goal of Indigenous language revitalization.

Pamela McCoy Jones

Executive Director

Pamela McCoy-Jones - Executive Director

Pamela is Anishinaabe from Wawa, Ontario, with family in Michipicoten First Nation (on her mother’s side) and Batchewana First Nation (on her father’s side). She is a mother of four and lives in Stony Plain on Treaty Six territory. Pamela has over 15 years of experience in policy and strategic planning, specializing in Indigenous education. Pamela is passionate about Indigenous language sovereignty and the implementation of the Supporting Indigenous Languages Revitalization initiative. Pamela is also the chair of the Steering Committee.

Karen Delver

Project Coordinator

Karen Delver - Project Coordinator

aski kapimohtet iskwew nicikason onihcikiskwapiwinihk ochi! Karen is nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) originally from Saddle Lake Cree Nation.  She is a mother, grandmother and daughter of residential school survivors.  Karen is excited to be the new SILR Project Coordinator because SILR is one of Canada’s pioneers of the Indigenous Language Revitalization revolution. Karen has years of working with Indigenous peoples off and on reserve in diverse capacities; government, education, engagement, and research are her skill sets. She is grateful to have a unique educational background in MEd in Indigenous Peoples Education Policy with the University of Alberta and a Bachelor’s in Leadership and Management with Blue Quills University; these universities were rooted or taught from Indigenous epistemologies balanced with Western education theories.  Karen derives her resiliency and passion for – Education as the key – to understanding and creating connections from her lived Indigenous knowledge experiences.  She affirms that her identity is in her Cree culture, language and the land. Karen is avid about Indigenous Peoples finding balance in a wholistic, respectful and meaningful way so that a healthy evolution is occurring in all of society… “Our Indigenous languages are necessary to our spirit and self-growth or healing; when we know who we are as Indigenous peoples, it ripples to our families and loved ones; this healthy collective identity sets positive examples in our communities; a thriving community builds a strong nation of people; who brings a solid balance needed to a changing society.”

Allyson Brinston

Program Support

Allyson Brintston - Program Support

Allyson Brinston is a passionate linguistic anthropologist specializing in Indigenous language revitalization. She is currently honing her skills and expanding her knowledge as a graduate student at the University of Alberta’s Department of Anthropology, where she is researching the use of virtual reality in Indigenous language revitalization. Allyson’s commitment to language and cultural preservation is evident in her work, which significantly focuses on urban spaces and fostering wellness within Indigenous communities. Before starting her graduate studies, Allyson laid a solid foundation in anthropology, completing a Bachelor of Arts honours degree at MacEwan University. Allyson is strongly dedicated to community engagement, and education has marked her journey in academia and the field with collaborations with multiple post-secondary institutions and the Canadian Commission of Unesco in 2023. She has previously worked in fundraising for Indigenous Initiatives with the University of Alberta Faculty of Engineering and worked with the Canadian Indigenous Language and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI), where she served as a research and teacher assistant. In addition to her academic pursuits, Allyson has showcased her versatility and creativity through her work as a learning resource creator and a digital marketing copywriter. Her unique ability to merge her anthropological expertise with digital marketing has allowed her to effectively communicate and advocate for Indigenous language revitalization, reaching wider audiences and making a tangible impact. Allyson’s innovative approach, extensive background, and dedication to this work are poised to contribute to the strong efforts being undertaken by SILR to support Indigenous Language Revitalization.

Corinne Riedel-Pinnock

Project Assistant

Corinne Riedel-Pinnock - Project Assistant

Corinne Riedel-Pinnock (Métis) is of nêhiyaw and German descent and lives in Edmonton with her sweetheart Samora. Her nêhiyaw/Scottish-English ancestors from Red River, Manitoba, are who she reaches back to so that she remembers who she comes from. Her parents are Stanley and Glenda Riedel (nee Blight), and her late grandparents are Author and Ada Riedel (nee Weiss) and Frank and Geraldine Blight (nee Sabiston). She is an auntie, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a partner and a human continually growing into a better relative. Corinne comes alive in her creative writing and works as an Advisor/Recruiter for Indigenous Language Teacher Development Projects (ILTDP) and Project Assistant for Supporting Indigenous Languages Revitalization (SILR) at the University of Alberta. She knows a lot of Spanish and considers it her second language; nêhiyawewin will become her third. She is passionate about advocating for women, Indigenous women, girls and boys and for all Indigenous and BIPOC students. She has sat in on multiple committees that support and celebrate these amazing folx and is passionate about teaching and supporting students in their journeys to (re)membering themselves back into spirit. When she isn’t chasing the sun, she’s making jewelry–or some other craft–she’s listening to music and singing; when she combines all three, she’s most in spirit.

Research Team

Dr. Davina Rousell

Research Associate

Dr. Davina Rousell

Dr. Rousell has specialized in community-driven research and Indigenous research methodologies and has over 18 years of experience working with and for Indigenous communities. Her expertise includes mitigating and preventing racist beliefs and praxis, Nêhiyaw teaching and learning processes, allyship, leadership, health and well-being. She is honoured to be part of an interdisciplinary research team seeking a deeper understanding of the connections between Indigenous languages and well-being.

Crystal Wood

Graduate Research Associate (GRA)

Crystal Wood - Graduate Research Associate (GRA)

Crystal Wood is a member of Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation from Fort Simpson, NWT but has always resided on Treaty Six or Seven territory in Alberta. She currently lives with her family in Parkland County, Alberta. Her passion(s) include creating and supporting meaningful change in the community, and currently serves on committees with her children’s school division, and helping where she can. Her drive for meaningful educational change for the inclusion of Indigenous education leveraged her to pursue her PhD. Crystal is excited to be part of the ‘Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization’ research team to advocate and support the importance of learning and speaking First Nation, Métis, and Inuit ancestral languages on Turtle Island.

Sherryl Sewepagaham

Research/Policy Analyst

Sherryl Sewepagaham - Research/Policy Analyst

Sherryl Sewepagaham (MEd, BEd, BMT) is Cree-Dene and is from the Little Red River Cree Nation in Northern Alberta. She is a Research Assistant for the Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization (SILR) project. Sherryl is a PhD student in Music with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology at the University of British Columbia and is passionate about sharing the Cree language in many facets of her work and research in music. She is a singer and incorporates gifted and newly composed Cree songs in her work in artistic performance, elementary music education, choral composition, and music curriculum resources. Sherryl created the secondary teacher resource, Kanata: Contemporary Indigenous Artists and their Music, in collaboration with MusiCounts Education Charity, composed the theme song, “Music Alive,” and created three Indigenous Arts teacher guides for the National Arts Centre’s Arts Alive program. She is a co-founder of the highly successful 2006 Juno-nominated Indigenous women’s trio, Asani, who performed internationally and released her solo album, Splashing the Water Loudly, in 2014.

Joline Bull

Past GRA

Joline Bull - Past GRA

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Velvalee Georges

Past GRA

Velvalee Georges - Past GRA

Velvalee Georges is a Ph.D. candidate in Elementary Education at the University of Alberta.  She is a Saskatchewan Urban Teacher Education Program (B.ed, 1985) graduate and holds a Master of Education degree in Inclusive Education from the University of Manitoba (2007).  She is a Metis scholar interested in Assessment, Indigenous language teacher education, languages, and literacy. She has assisted three Indigenous language research projects, most recently the Supporting Indigenous Languages Revitalization (SILR) Project at the University of Alberta. She teaches Assessing Indigenous languages in classrooms for the Canadian Indigenous Language and Literacy Institute (Cilldi). She is an experienced teacher and administrator.  Originally from Sakitawak, Sk (Ile-a-la-Crosse), she speaks some Northern Michif and understands much more. Although she left her home community years ago to pursue employment and study, Indigenous Language resonates strongly in her work, no matter where she goes.  She is married, has an adult daughter, and resides in Pigeon Lake, Alberta.

Advisory Council

SILR Advisory Council

Molly Chisaakay

Dr. Florence Glanfield

Dr. Glanfield is Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research) and a Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Secondary Education. She is an Affiliated Faculty member with the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development at the University of Alberta. She earned her Ph.D. in 2003, studying mathematics teacher understanding as an emergent phenomenon. Dr. Glanfield worked at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Education (1999 – 2007) and began her tenure at the University of Alberta in July 2007. Dr Glanfield is a Métis Nation of Alberta citizen, born and raised in Northeastern Alberta. Dr Glanfield’s research interests explore the experiences that individuals (teachers and learners), as well as collectives of learners/communities, have with mathematics and learning mathematics. Dr Glanfield collaborates with colleagues and has conducted research projects with Canadian Indigenous communities, urban Aboriginal youth, elementary & secondary mathematics teachers, and teachers and teacher educators in Tanzania and Rwanda.

Lynda Minoose

Elmer Ghostkeeper

Dr. Trudy Cardinal

Dr. Trudy Cardinal is a Cree/Métis educator from Northern Alberta. As a former Elementary School teacher of 13 years, a mother, a grandmother, an aunty, and an Indigenous scholar, she is dedicated to deepening understanding of the educational experiences of First Nations, Metis & Inuit children, youth and families. Her current research is an inquiry into former teacher education students’ thinking regarding the possibilities relational pedagogies and Indigenous ways of being and knowing create for shifting how schooling attends to literacy, particularly literacy in an Indigenous context.

Mary Cardinal Collins

Dr. Florence Glanfield

Dr. Glanfield is Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research) and a Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Secondary Education. She is an Affiliated Faculty member with the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development at the University of Alberta. She earned her Ph.D. in 2003, studying mathematics teacher understanding as an emergent phenomenon. Dr. Glanfield worked at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Education (1999 – 2007) and began her tenure at the University of Alberta in July 2007. Dr Glanfield is a Métis Nation of Alberta citizen, born and raised in Northeastern Alberta. Dr Glanfield’s research interests explore the experiences that individuals (teachers and learners), as well as collectives of learners/communities, have with mathematics and learning mathematics. Dr Glanfield collaborates with colleagues and has conducted research projects with Canadian Indigenous communities, urban Aboriginal youth, elementary & secondary mathematics teachers, and teachers and teacher educators in Tanzania and Rwanda.

Doreen Daychief

Edna Elias

Lyndon Aginas

Dr. Trudy Cardinal

Dr. Trudy Cardinal is a Cree/Métis educator from Northern Alberta. As a former Elementary School teacher of 13 years, a mother, a grandmother, an aunty, and an Indigenous scholar, she is dedicated to deepening understanding of the educational experiences of First Nations, Metis & Inuit children, youth and families. Her current research is an inquiry into former teacher education students’ thinking regarding the possibilities relational pedagogies and Indigenous ways of being and knowing create for shifting how schooling attends to literacy, particularly literacy in an Indigenous context.

Steering Committee

The Project Steering Committee is responsible for ensuring the project is on track as per project design, financial allocations are being made and spent to schedule, project learnings and changes from initial assumptions are reported and tracked, identified challenges have been addressed, and plans next key steps.

Dr. Florence Glanfield

Dr. Florence Glanfield

Dr. Glanfield is Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research) and a Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Secondary Education. She is an Affiliated Faculty member with the Centre for Research for Teacher Education and Development at the University of Alberta. She earned her Ph.D. in 2003, studying mathematics teacher understanding as an emergent phenomenon. Dr. Glanfield worked at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Education (1999 – 2007) and began her tenure at the University of Alberta in July 2007. Dr Glanfield is a Métis Nation of Alberta citizen, born and raised in Northeastern Alberta. Dr Glanfield’s research interests explore the experiences that individuals (teachers and learners), as well as collectives of learners/communities, have with mathematics and learning mathematics. Dr Glanfield collaborates with colleagues and has conducted research projects with Canadian Indigenous communities, urban Aboriginal youth, elementary & secondary mathematics teachers, and teachers and teacher educators in Tanzania and Rwanda.

Pamela McCoy Jones

(Chair)

Dr. Trudy Cardinal

Dr. Trudy Cardinal

Dr. Trudy Cardinal is a Cree/Métis educator from Northern Alberta. As a former Elementary School teacher of 13 years, a mother, a grandmother, an aunty, and an Indigenous scholar, she is dedicated to deepening understanding of the educational experiences of First Nations, Metis & Inuit children, youth and families. Her current research is an inquiry into former teacher education students’ thinking regarding the possibilities relational pedagogies and Indigenous ways of being and knowing create for shifting how schooling attends to literacy, particularly literacy in an Indigenous context.

Dr. Jordan Lachler

Dr. Jordan Lachler

Jordan Lachler is the Director of the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI). He brings considerable experience from many years of close collaborative work with various Indigenous language communities, including Haida and Nakota. He is actively developing partnerships with Cree and other communities. Dr. Lachler leads overall project planning and management of CILLDI and fosters an inclusive research and teaching environment where community involvement and feedback are ensured.

Dr. Scott Key

Dr. Scott Key

Dr. Scott Key is the Director of Professional Learning at the University of Alberta. He is a distinguished Higher Education Administrator with a comprehensive background in managing online and traditional face-to-face educational programs. With his expertise in Program Development, Dr. Key excels in cultivating and maintaining productive Staff Relations. His proficiency in Strategic Leadership is evident in his approach to Financial Management and Stakeholder Engagement, ensuring sustainable growth and effective resource allocation. As a seasoned professional, Dr. Key holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago, reflecting his deep commitment to academic excellence and policy research. His leadership style is characterized by a collaborative approach, integrating diverse perspectives to foster an inclusive and dynamic educational environment. Dr. Key’s contributions to higher education are marked by his innovative strategies and dedication to enhancing the quality of learning experiences for students and educators alike.

Shana Dion

Shana Dion

Shana Dion is nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman) from Kehewin Cree Nation. Shana is an alumnus of the University of Alberta, graduating with a Bachelor of Native Studies degree and completed the Indigenous Sport and Recreation Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in 2019. Her career has always been centred on a place of service, particularly mental health and wellness in First Nations communities. Her responsibilities as the Assistant Dean of First Nation, Metis and Inuit students are deeply rooted in a holistic way of being balanced. Balance in all aspects of life is essential to our well-being, so her message is for you to GET ACTIVE in every aspect of being a student. We are still here for you, just in a different way.

Dr. Heather Blair (retired)

Dr. Heather Blair (retired)

As a co-founder of the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI) at the University of Alberta, Dr. Heather Blair has spearheaded research and development at this one-of-a-kind institute in Canada. She has been involved in extensive research and program and course development. Dr. Blair’s research focuses on the intersections of languages, literacy, culture, and gender. She has worked extensively in two main areas: (a) how both boys and girls take up literacy practices in and out of school and how this impacts the teaching of language arts, and (b) Indigenous language obsolescence and revitalization. Her work is grounded in socio-cultural theory and ethnographic research practices.

Governance & Funding

This initiative is being governed and administered by the University of Alberta Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Programming & Research—the mission of this Office is to support the development and implementation of programs, services and initiatives related to Indigenous engagement and transformative practices that respect and honour Indigenous knowledges across the University of Alberta. SILR is supported by the BHP Foundation as well as in-kind support from the University of Alberta.

Funding will support the expansion and enhancement of current initiatives and the development of new pathways to remove barriers preventing access to education opportunities—accelerating capacity building in Indigenous Nations and/or communities to lead their language revitalization efforts.

SILR Logo

About the SILR Logo

The circle symbolizes the ongoing journey of language revitalization within culture and community.

The figures huddled around the turtle represent the people within communities who are collectively undertaking the work of language revitalization.

The turtle is representative of all the languages on Turtle Island and also represents truth.

The number of people and shapes on the turtles back is representative of the seven sacred teachings.

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