Tag Archives: native americans

Using Technology to Preserve Native American Languages

http://www.research.vt.edu/resmag/sc98/lockee.html

This article discusses the ideas of Barbara Lockee of Virgina Tech. Lockee did her doctoral dissertation on using hypermedia to perpetuate Native American languages. Although a small percentage of Native American people are fluent in a native language, Lockee suggests that there is hope because many elders believe that maintenance of tribal cultures is dependent on young people’s learning to read, write, and speak their native languages. As part of her dissertation work, Lockee is developing a program to help teach Native Americans their original languages.

Lockee mentions the reasons for why Native Americans lost their languages. Influences such as residential school and moving to reservations heavily affected preservation of native languages. With the lack of ability to communicate to elders, native peoples have a hard time learning about the their culture and heritage.

Lockee discusses how non-urban Native Americans have different learning styles that they have acquired at home. This is something important to consider when implementing language programs with Native students. These progams also need to be relevent and involve the context of actual situations.

The progam that Lockee is creating provides an opportunity for the students to translate and even write their own stories at their own pace. It also promotes critical thinking skills instead of memorization of content. The students would also be allowed to work in pairs to encourage cooperative, inter-related type learning that suits their cultural styles. Although her program is created for the Cherokee language, different tribes can adapt the program by inserting their own legends and languages into the template.

I find this document to be very encouraging as I understand that many Aboriginal peoples in Canada are also concerned with the loss of their language and heritage. Because there are so many different tribes and languages involved, it would be challenging to find or create a program similar to that of Lockee’s to possibly accommodate native language revival in Canada. With the available technology today, it seems quite possible. However, there is a time limit as elders only get older and will no longer be available to aid in the language revival process.

How Hollywood Stereotyped the Native Americans

40Discos.com
Related Videos of Stereotyping Indigenous People

http://www.40discos.com/video/_hJFi7SRH7Q.html

This website is a great resource for Module 2’s theme of Stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples. It has great videos about many different aspects of Indigenous peoples and their cultures including many of the different stereotypes that Hollywood has presented and supported of Indigenous peoples. The Youtube video is embedded on the page and links to similar films with similar themes are listed below with a description of the video and the video on the left. The site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. This site will be an excellent resource for my research on Elders and Technology as the Hollywood representation of Indigenous peoples can’t be ignored.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hJFi7SRH7Q&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

The video How Hollywood Stereotyped the Native Americans includes interviews of Indigenous people (some actors) and their thoughts on Hollywood’s representation of their culture and people. They indicated that growing up with these images on film of their people, they never saw their own image in their reality, instead, they saw the fantasized Hollywood version of how their lives and cultures were and should be. It discusses the ‘white audience’ and how they have influenced the content of Native American films. The portrayal fo the white-man was unrealistically positive, always coming out ahead and better than his Indian foe. They confuse the Native American and Euro-American phenomenon and try to perpetuate the image of the savage Native American and white, Western mainstream Again, this correlates well with Module 2’s Prins (2002) reading and his description of the duality of the “paradox of primitivism”. I love the final quote in the film from a Native American: “A Nation that does not know its history has no future!” That’s a very powerful statement and one Western mainstream should acknowledge.