We’re grateful that we’ll be speaking about language revitalization at this year’s
Chiefs of Ontario
First Nation Education Conference
“Our Children, Our Future, Our Way!”
October 26 & 27, 2011
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Barbara Nolan and John Paul Montano
will be presenting the following workshop on Oct. 26th and 27th:
Why aren’t we creating new speakers of our language?
According to the ‘Indian Act’ definition of what a Native person is, some estimates predict that there will be no more Native people in Canada within the next 50 years. Similarly, many predictions being made by linguists and by language advocates within our own communities indicate that there will be no more speakers of our language within the next 20 years. If these numbers fill you with fear and worry, you should attend our workshop.
While there is still hope for the future of our language and our culture, there is an incredible amount of work to be done; perhaps most important is admitting to ourselves that the language education strategies we’ve been following for the last 50 years have failed us. With the exception of children who have been raised in fluent-speaking households, over the last 50 years, we’ve created nearly zero new speakers of our language. (Please read that last sentence again.)
If you’d like to learn about alternative language education strategies that will successfully create new speakers of our language, we invite you to attend this inspiring workshop. Training the first-speakers of our language in the art and science of immersion instruction will be the primary topic of discussion in this workshop. When our first-speakers know how to pass their language on to others, our future is filled with hope. But, it is up to us to ensure that our first-speakers are provided with the knowledge and the skills with which to effectively deliver immersion instruction.
Please join us as we journey to discover successful strategies to revitalize our language, our culture, and ourselves. Miigwech.