Society for Linguistic Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
In the wider political context of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015), this paper examines the disjunctures (Meek 2010) between academic and local Indigenous language revitalization practices, including forces of regimentation (Kroskrity 1999) and resistance (Abu Lughod 1990). Based on four decades of community and university-based work with language programs and projects, the paper highlights the merits of current Indigenous approaches that challenge the established norms of language documentation, analysis, and archiving. While paying tribute to the practices and theoretical contributions of Dene Elders in the Yukon, northern Alberta and British Columbia, the paper also recognizes the productive insights of contemporary Indigenous language activists (Davis 2016; Green and Maracle 2018; Leonard 2018; Twitchell 2018) that provide insights for rebalancing Indigenous language work.
Davis, Jenny. 2016. Language Affiliation and Ethnolinguistic Identity in Chickasaw Language Revitalization. Language and Communication 47:100-111.
Green, Jeremy and Brian Maracle. 2018. The Root-Word Method for Building Proficient Second-Language Speakers of Polysynthetic Languages: Onkwaeén:na Kentyókhw Adult Mohawk Language Immersion program" in The Routledge Handbook of Language Revitalization, Leanne Hinton et al. eds. New York: Routledge.
Leonard, Wesley. 2018. Reflections on (De)colonialism in Language Documentation. In McDonnell Reflections on Language Documentation 20 years after Himmelmann. Language Documentation and Conservation.
Twitchell, X'unei Lance. 2018. Haa Dachxánx’i Sáani Kagéiyi Yís: Haa Yoo X’atángi Ke Naltsee: For Our Little Grandchildren: Language Revitalization among the Tlingit. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Hawaii.