After some deep reflection this week regarding Aboriginal educational goals and values, in the context of Canadian/westernized euro-centric education, I have decided to refocus my ETEC521 research from language revitalization to a broader spectrum of Tribally Controlled Education. I think the underlying line of query in the following post still holds true in many ways. How are Aboriginal communities re-establishing their right to culturally appropriate educational contexts?
The goal of my research will be to find ways in which technology can be woven into effective and pedagogically sound methods of language revitalization. Living and working on Haida Gwaii in northern British Columbia, the language I am personally involved with is HlGaagilda Xaayda Kil, the Skidegate dialect Haida Language. I will be looking locally, nationally and globally for exemplary models of technology-assisted language revitalization.
It seems that often times, technology is portrayed as either counter-culture to traditional Aboriginal values, or as a “solution” to engaging with the culture of modern-day Aboriginal youth. Rather than being dichotomous, I think these two viewpoints may be placed in a shifting continuum in which there are no absolutes. In what ways are Aboriginal peoples using technology to revive and revitalize their languages? What novel methods of language revitalization are on the forefront? In what ways might technology reconcile with traditional Aboriginal culture?
Throughout this course I will keep an eye towards how this research relates to Skidegate’s language revitalization initiatives, which are currently in their infancy. During this term I will participate in the Breath of Life Institute, an indigenous language revitalization conference which will likely be reflected in my weblog postings.