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ERIC Number: ED374937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Inuktitut Alive and Well? Issues of Identity, Ownership, and Change.
Freeman, Kate; And Others
This paper examines current usage, educational initiatives, and future prospects for survival of three Canadian Aboriginal languages--Odawa (frequently called Ojibwe), Mohawk, and Inuktitut. The presentation centers around the direct insider stories of Mohawk and Odawa coauthors, with comparative commentary by an outsider with long-term experience in Inuit communities. Among all Canadian indigenous peoples, 36 percent of persons over 15 and 13 percent of school-age children speak their indigenous language, a dramatic shift from 15 years ago when over half of indigenous children entered school with native language fluency. Odawa and Mohawk communities demonstrate a pattern of increasing language loss with each generation. Among Inuit, however, 72 percent of adults and 39 percent of schoolchildren (much higher proportions in the eastern Arctic) speak Inuktitut, and 88 percent of speakers also read the language. An overview and informant comments cover the following topics: (1) school issues and effects (language of instruction controversies, innovations that adapt school culture to community needs, evolving roles of indigenous teachers, and dissatisfaction with indigenous teacher preparation); (2) community-based efforts to teach and maintain indigenous languages; (3) the relationship of language to culture and of language structure to thought patterns and worldview; and (4) language change and hope (language attitudes across Canada, emerging bilingual and multiple-literacy practices, and increasing contacts among Inuit-speaking peoples around the Arctic). Appendices contain language demography data and the texts of interviews with key informants. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada