Language-in-education policies and Indigenous language revitalization efforts in Canada: Considerations for non-dominant language education in the Global South

  • Onowa McIvor
  • Jessica Ball University of Victoria, Canada
Keywords: Indigenous language practices, language-in-education policies, policy reform, First Nations, Indigenous, Canada, Global North, Global South

Abstract

Indigenous languages are struggling for breath in the Global North. In Canada, Indigenous language medium schools and early childhood programs remain independent and marginalized. Despite government commitments, there is little support for Indigenous language-in-education policy and initiatives. This article describes an inaugural, country-wide, federally-funded, Indigenous-led language revitalization research project, entitled NE?OL?EW? (one mind-one people). The project brings together nine Indigenous partners to build a country-wide network and momentum to pressure multi-levels of government to honour agreements enshrining the right of children to learn their Indigenous language. The project is documenting approaches to create new Indigenous language speakers, focusing on adult language learners able to keep the language vibrant and teach their language to children. The article reflects upon how this Northern emphasis on Indigenous language revitalization and country-wide networking initiative is relevant to mother tongue-based education and policy examples in the Global South. The article underscores the need for both community level initiatives (top-down) and government level policy and funding (bottom up) to support child and adult Indigenous language learning.

Published
2019-12-20
How to Cite
McIvor, O., & Ball, J. (2019). Language-in-education policies and Indigenous language revitalization efforts in Canada: Considerations for non-dominant language education in the Global South. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.32865/fire201953174