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ERIC Number: ED354766
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Effective Language Education Practices and Native Language Survival. Keynote Address.
Littlebear, Dick
The importance of Native languages to Native Americans and the effort needed to maintain them are discussed in this keynote address at the ninth Native American Language Issues Institute. It is noted that the current cultural transition has demeaned Native languages and cultures and that strategies must be devised by Native Americans to counter the negative effects of cultural transition. Complications include alien organizational systems, high technology, alcohol and drugs, ambiguous values, exploding populations, erosion of language and culture, and a shrinking world that affects the remotest villages and reservations. Rather than rejecting the white man's education, Native Americans should manipulate it and give it a Native cultural input and relevance. Effective practices can help reduce the high dropout rate. Practices include the following: returning to learning and teaching language and culture within the family; encouraging parents to support the schools; identifying the best approaches for learning both native languages and English; increasing the involvement of Native Americans as teachers, administrators, and members of school boards; sustaining generations-long tribal-wise efforts; encouraging leaders with a wider vision; supporting bilingual education as an option and multicultural courses as requirements for teachers; and insisting on cultural relevance for school systems serving a majority of language minority students. The necessity of becoming involved in the political process is also noted. It is concluded that Native languages nurture spirits and hearts while the English language is the means for physical sustenance. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A