Te Köhanga Reo—Maori “Language Nests”


This website describes and provides a history about Maori Language Nests in New Zealand.  In the Köhanga Reo (language nests), young children (often selected from less advantaged homes) are cared for by Maori elders and other adults completely in Maori.  The conception, organization and promotion of this very successful initiative were part of a grass-roots effort that began in 1982, as Maori elders became concerned about the future of their language and culture.

These “nests” or daycare facilities support language revitalization theory by facilitating the transmission of language between generations—what some say is the key to successful revitalization.  Language nests led to language classes for the parents, instruction in Maori for school-aged children, and influenced educational policy.  This website is a must for anyone who would like to know more about the “language nest” model of revitalization.

There are a variety of links that can be navigated throughout the site including an About Us section (this gives a great deal of information about the program’s particular details as well as some of the history behind it) and an events section (various conferences are listed here).

December 1, 2009   No Comments

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke ‘elikōlani : University of Hawaii’s College of Hawaiian Language (M4-4)


Home to one of the most renowned and successful language revitalization programs in the world, the University of Hawaii Hilo’s College of Hawaiian Language website is an excellent place to start to research Hawaiian language or language revitalization.  As the website proclaims, the College has two divisions, the Studies and Academic Divisions; the Studies Division is where students learn and learn in the Hawaiian language, and the Academic Division is devoted to linguistic and cultural research.

Of interest on this page is the fact that it is a completely bilingual (Hawaiian and English) or monolingual (Hawaiian only) page, and upon arriving, one will notice that English is not the dominant language.  This is living evidence that language revitalization can be successful in many ways.  The second thing to note is the page on the Indigenous Teacher Education Mission.  The University is seeking out Hawaiian people with a strong language and cultural background to be trained as teachers for the many immersion schools in Hawaii.

Overall, this is an informative, general information site about a culture that is making use of technology to enhance the language revitalization process. (If you would like more information on the history of their tech-based language revitalization program, read Mark Warschauer’s work, in particular:

Warschauer, M. & Donaghy, K. (1997). Leokï: A powerful voice of Hawaiian language revitalization. Computer Assisted Language Learning 10(4), pp.349-361.

December 1, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 – Weblog Entry #1 – Bruce Spencer

I selected the Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute as my first entry because of its significance to my research on the Gwich’in people. Their language is listed as one of eighty-eight dying languages in Canada. My research paper takes a look at the history of the language and what has been done to try to preserve and maintain the language during the past sixty years.


Also of interest are:
Gwich’in Language Wikipedia taken from Answers.com
• The Gwich’in Settlement Area taken from the GDC website
• Information of the Gwich’in Land Claim taken from the GNWT’s Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations website.

November 30, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 – Weblog Entry #5 – Bruce Spencer

Censored News is another weblog site that may be of interest to you. I discovered it while researching my paper on the Gwich’in people. This blog site has been active since 2007. It reports primarily on indigenous issues and human rights issues. This is a searchable weblog.


Articles are listed by year and month. Scroll downwards and look to the left of the window.

Other links of interest to me were:
Indigenous Uranium Forum audio available
o EarthCycles.net
Listen Uranium Forum Defending Mother Earth
o blogtalkradio

November 30, 2009   No Comments

Module 4 Entry #5


A wonderful project between the Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council and Department of Canadian Heritage through Canadian Culture Online. Links to culture and language as well as a pull down menu which discusses items such as Information Technology and Infant Development. It’s incredible and uses Quick Time technology. All sections of the site have sound files done in English and the Nuu-chah-nulth language as well as an option for French language. Definitely worth taking a look at.

November 28, 2009   No Comments

Module 3 Entry #1


This website is the work of a group of people who believe deeply that indigenous peoples have the right to be indigenous people – on their own lands, on their own terms. Members include preeminent indigenous leaders, anthropologists, philanthropists, entrepeneurs and the team is currently led by a human rights lawyer.

The homepage includes powerful images and statistics. There are links to important news items and a sign up for the email newsletter. Other links include publications, programs and what you can do.

This site would be very helpful for any one looking for information around language and cultural  preservation.

October 16, 2009   No Comments

Mohawk Language – mod 2 post 1

As an alum of UWO, I often visit the Western NEws to see what is up. I cam e across this article that I know some of my classmates would use Online course preserves Mohawk language

David Kanatawakhon-Maracle, part of in the Department of Anthropology, teaches an online distance studies course called Introduction to the Mohawk Language. He uses MP3 recordings, combined with html to workbooks enabling students to click on the word and hear the pronunciation.

David believes “If you change a language, you change a culture and if you lose a language, you lose a culture,”

October 15, 2009   No Comments

Weblog 2 Entry #3

Blue Corn Comics

I stumbled upon this site when looking for some material for a class which was actually created by Native Americans. This is a jumping off point for several different publications such as Peace Party (A Multicultural graphic novel featuring Native Americans) and  Newspaper Rock ( A blog which describes itself as a place where Native American meets pop culture.

other important links:

Language preservation : Blue Comics offers a service which create comics in any tribal language. I found this particularly interesting as most students (especially boys) seem to be hooked on graphic novels.

Harmful Effects of Stereotyping

Seeking Native Writers

There is also stereotype of the month contest which includes commercials, prime time tv episodes etc. It includes links for educators. Overall I think an excellent site for using with students.

October 15, 2009   No Comments

The First Peoples’ Language Map of British Columbia (M1-2)


First created in 2005 with the support of the British Columbia Ministry of Education, the First Peoples’ Language Map of B.C. is a project that has organized and categorized the indigenous languages of British Columbia by name(s), location and language family—both in a list and interactive map format.  In addition to the aforementioned language resources, there is a listing of First Nations in B.C., as well as a listing of “Community Champions” from various communities in B.C.: champion artists and language activists.

Perhaps the most informative section of the site, particularly to those who have little knowledge of the linguistic diversity in B.C., is the interactive map on the main page.  Viewers are able to examine contemporary as well as “sleeping” languages, and can customize the map view to suit their needs and interests.  The inclusion of sleeping languages demonstrates the urgency of the issue of language revitalization in B.C., and will inform both indigenous and non-indigenous viewers of the diversity and jeopardy faced by B.C. First Nations.

September 27, 2009   No Comments

First Voices: Language Archives Celebrating World Indigenous Cultures (M1-1)

URL: http://www.firstvoices.com/scripts/WebObjects.exe/FirstVoices.woa/wa/file

The First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation, with the support of government agencies such as the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the British Columbia Ministry of Aboriginal Relations, as well as other partners, has created a set of online tools to assist indigenous people with indigenous language instruction, exploration and cultural revitalization.

Writing systems, images, sounds, videos, and games are embedded on the site, and many are accessible by the general public (some language resources are password protected so as to respect the customs of those particular communities).  In addition to an interactive map and listing of many indigenous languages in Canada, the website also provides a section specifically for children at http://www.firstvoiceskids.com/ , where many languages can be explored by clicking on pictures for sounds, videos and writing.

This site is an attempt to use digital technology to connect people with their language, and by extension, their culture.  In addition to focusing on indigenous community members and their efforts in language documentation and revitalization, in many instances, this site also provides the opportunity for non-community members to explore indigenous languages and to learn more about the diversity of indigenous languages in Canada.

September 27, 2009   No Comments