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Language and Formal Cultural Education

  • Joy Hendry

Abstract

In November 2003, the annual conference of the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council, organized by members of the Woodland Cultural Centre, had outgrown the premises in Brantford, and was transplanted to the roomy facilities of the University of Western Ontario. Plenary sessions took place in a large lecture theater, with raised seating to accommodate an audience of several hundred, and a substantial stage at the front. Again, I had received permission to attend as an observer, and one particular event made a strong impres­sion on me. It involved a group of four young people who had been invited to speak about the experience of learning the original language of the Indigenous group into which they had been born. The lan­guages—Cayuga and Mohawk—are now seriously endangered, and many adults in the communities where the speakers had been raised know little of them. They had tackled a lonely task then, and Lottie Keye, the teacher who presented them, was justifiably proud that they had made good progress. She asked them to speak for just five min­utes to say how knowing their language had made them better people and how they would use it in the future.

Keywords

Indigenous People Aboriginal People Cultural Knowledge Residential School Birch Bark 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References And Further Readings

  1. Cook-Peters, Kaweienbnóni, 2003, Report on the Ahkwesáhsne Mohawk Board of Education Kanien’kéha Program, Developed for AMBE, MCA. SRCS, Kanien’kéha Education Parents, and the Ahkwesáhsne Community.Google Scholar
  2. Elijah, Mary Joy, 2003, “First Nations Language and Culture in the Ontario Curriculum,” presentation made at the Conference of the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council, University of Western Ontario, October 2003.Google Scholar
  3. Froman, Tara, 2003, “A History of the Mohawk Institute,” Wadrihwa, 17(4) And 18(1 And 2): 2–7.Google Scholar
  4. Graham, Elizabeth, 1997, The Mush Hole: Life at Two Indian Residential Schools, Waterloo: Heffle Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Harper, Ian, 2003, “The Protective Legislation Issue: Should Aboriginal Languages have a Bill 101, an Official Languages Act, or something else?,” paper presented at the Conference of the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council, University of Western Ontario, October 2003.Google Scholar
  6. Peters, Kaweienon:ni (Margaret) and Bobby Jacobs, 2003, “Production of Language Resource Materials for Speakers and Non-Speakers,” presentation made at the Conference of the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council, University of Western Ontario, October 2003.Google Scholar
  7. Peters, Tekahionhake (Theodore), 2003, “Music and Media in Language Teaching,” presentation made at the Conference of the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council, University of Western Ontario, October 2003.Google Scholar
  8. Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove, 2003, “Revitalizing Indigenous and Minority Languages: Any Role for Linguistic Human Rights in Counteracting Linguistic Genocide?,” keynote lecture presented at the Conference of the Sweetgrass First Nations Language Council, University of Western Ontario, October 2003.Google Scholar
  9. Thomas, Chief Jacob and Terry Boyle, 1994, Teachings from the Longhouse, Toronto: Stoddart.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Joy Hendry 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joy Hendry

There are no affiliations available

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