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ERIC Number: ED428930
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Indigenous Language Codification: Cultural Effects.
Bielenberg, Brian
As indigenous communities begin to develop language revitalization programs, they inevitably must face the decision of whether to incorporate written forms of their historically oral languages into their efforts. This paper argues that as indigenous people go about the decision-making process, they must be aware of the implications of relying on a value laden medium, literacy, that has been closely associated with assimilation. Depending on one's perspective, literacy may be seen as a neutral technology, a vehicle for social and political action, or an "alien" medium. Four communities that have recently addressed the issue of indigenous literacy are examined. These cases include the historical use of indigenous literacy in Hawai'i, the recent inclusion of indigenous literacy in Navajo schools, a tribe that recently developed indigenous literacy, and a southwestern community that has chosen not to pursue indigenous literacy. The cases focus on the history of written indigenous language in each community, community discussions about whether or not to incorporate a written form in language revitalization efforts, and the current functions of literacy within the community. The cases suggest that cultural change can be tied, as least indirectly, to indigenous literacy, especially when the schools and churches are the main domain for use. (Author/SV)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A