Title

Sustaining Indigenous Identity Through Language Development: Comparing Indigenous Language Instruction in Two Contexts

Keywords

Indigenous language, Indigenous identity, language preservation, United States, Timor-Leste

Abstract

Indigenouslanguageinstructioninelementaryandsecondaryschoolshas a significant impact on indigenous culture and identity. The history of indigenous language instruction policy is always unique and its impact on the community depends on a range of internal and external factors. Using a theoretical framework of ethnic identity formation and cultural revitalization, we compare indigenous language policy and use in the Northern Cheyenne Nation and Timor-Leste. We identify commonalities and differences in indigenous language instruction when the indigenous language is in a stage of revitalization (Northern Cheyenne Nation) vs. preservation or prevention of language loss (Timor-Leste). In both cases we find that decentralized formal educational decision-making, and increased support of self- determination for indigenous groups play a key role in the successful pursuit of indigenous language instruction leading to increased salience of indigenous group identities and indigenous language use in schools, other institutions, and daily life. While each case has a unique history of oppression, colonization, duration of assimilationist policies, and available resources for the advocacy of indigenous language instruction, there are important similarities in the general experiences of indigenous language groups independent of whether the indigenous language in question is in a stage of revitalization or preservation.

Original Publication Citation

Sustaining Indigenous Identity Through Language Development: Comparing Indigenous Language Instruction in Two Contexts. Carol Ward andDavid Braudt, Pp. 139-170, in Indigenous Education: Language, Culture, and Identity, James Jacob, Maureen K. Porter, and Sheng Yao Cheng, editors. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2015.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2015

Publisher

Springer, Dordrecht

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

Share

COinS