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ERIC Number: EJ863403
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-1534-8458
Indigenous Youth Bilingualism from a Yup'ik Perspective
Charles, Walkie
Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, v8 n5 p365-368 2009
The growing distance between heritage languages and youth has become a constant point of discourse between Elders in Indigenous communities and those who could listen. Since Western contact, the pursuit for a "better life" through formal schooling has institutionalized Indigenous youth, separating them from their homelands and broadening a space between those who speak the heritage language and those who abandoned language and culture for formal Western education's sake. It is often the descendants of early residential school students who suffer the loss of language and identity. But the challenge is for Elders to find ways to create a language of concern so those who have the language can act as diplomatic agents for change if language revolution is evident. Compelling stories about youth and Indigenous languages reveal an awakening of a generation who otherwise would not have a voice or the academic language with which to express their feelings, their involvement, and their concerns about being members of an ancestral-language community in which English has become a pervasive vehicle of everyday expression. In this commentary, the author discusses the role of the Hopi language and how Hopi youth define and assert their personal and social identities as members of Hopi society and as Hopi citizens in the broader sense. The author tells it in story form, a vehicle through which Yup'ik people have learned about identity, survival, respect, honor, hope, and perseverance.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska