A World of Indigenous Languages: Politics, Pedagogies and Prospects for Language Reclamation

Edited by: Teresa L. McCarty, Sheilah E. Nicholas, Gillian Wigglesworth

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Spanning Indigenous settings in Africa, the Americas, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, Central Asia and the Nordic countries, this book examines the multifaceted language reclamation work underway by Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Exploring political, historical, ideological, and pedagogical issues, the book foregrounds the decolonizing aims of contemporary Indigenous language movements inside and outside of schools. Many authors explore language reclamation in their own communities. Together, the authors call for expanded discourses on language planning and policy that embrace Indigenous ways of knowing and forefront grassroots language reclamation efforts as a force for Indigenous sovereignty, social justice, and self-determination. This volume will be of interest to scholars, educators and students in applied linguistics, Ethnic/Indigenous Studies, education, second language acquisition, and comparative-international education, and to a broader audience of language educators, revitalizers and policymakers.

This collection of international voices and perspectives – speaking about and in Māori, Ojibwe, Aanaar Saami, Hopi, Limbu, Ngaanyatjarra, Quechua, and Nahuatl, among others – powerfully works for the reclamation of Indigenous languages and the resilience of Indigenous peoples. The authors and editors provide transformative visions of Indigenous futures for Indigenous languages.

K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Arizona State University, USA

It is utterly refreshing to read a book exclusively dedicated to Indigenous world languages with each chapter written or co-written by an Indigenous author. Equally invigorating is the authors' common value for and focus on language reclamation movements as they are situated in policies and politics, pedagogy, and Indigenous futures.

Tiffany S. Lee, University of New Mexico, USA

This work is a remarkable source of inspiration and encouragement to anyone engaged in Indigenous language reclamation efforts, showing ways to tackle some of the most challenging problems in this context. The book ought to be disseminated through university libraries, community centers and other spaces where Indigenous community members, activists, scholars and others can access it easily.

Leena Huss, Uppsala University, Sweden

This volume is international in scope and includes and impressive range of voices and perspectives on Indigenous language reclamation...[it] contains many examples of strength-based research. Indigenous knowledges and systems are not over-explained; instead they are positioned as legitimate and valuable. 

Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education 8:1

Altogether, the ten experiences showcased in this volume provide a thought provoking synopsis of current initiatives of Indigenous language reclamation movements, the outcomes of their "linguistic-educational-political-survival work" and a notion of their transformative potential for Indigenous peoples and the world [...] This book will be of particular interest to those who seek a better understanding of language practices within Indigenous communities, to those exploring innovative strategies for Indigenous language maintenance and learning, and to those concerned with prioritising language reclamation as a practice of Indigenous self-(re) empowerment and self-determination.

International Review of Education (2020) 66

I strongly recommend this book as a thorough, uncompromising overview of the topic, ideal for undergraduate or graduate classes in anthropology, linguistics, or Indigenous studies.

Native American and Indigenous Studies, 2020

The socioeconomic impacts of capitalism and the lingering effects of colonialism on indigenous communities and their language use are addressed throughout all ten chapters, providing an historically informed snapshot of contemporary language reclamation issues and efforts. This collection will surely be of interest to anyone engaged with language reclamation, whether as an indigenous community member or as a nonindigenous collaborator.

Language in Society 50 (2021)

We have no doubt that this volume, as a 'testimony to contemporary Indigenous language movement and its transformative potential' (p. xviii), will be an impactful publication that has a lasting influence on the ongoing efforts to reclaim indigenous languages worldwide.

Language Policy (2021) 20

Teresa L. McCarty is G.F. Kneller Chair in Education and Anthropology and Faculty in American Indian Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Her research focuses on Indigenous education, language planning and policy, language revitalization/reclamation, critical ethnography, and educational and linguistic anthropology.

Sheilah E. Nicholas is a member of the Hopi Tribe and an Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies, and American Indian Studies, University of Arizona, USA. Her research interests include Indigenous/Hopi language reclamation and maintenance, Indigenous language ideologies and epistemologies, the intersection of language, culture and identity, and Indigenous language teacher education.

Gillian Wigglesworth is Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, Australia and chief investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Her research interests include the languages of Indigenous children growing up in remote communities in Australia, the complexity of their language ecology, and how these interact with English once they enter the formal school system.   

Introduction. Teresa L. McCarty, Sheilah E. Nicholas, and Gillian Wigglesworth: A World of Indigenous Languages—Resurgence, Reclamation, Revitalization, and Resilience

Part I—Policies and Politics in Indigenous Language Reclamation

Chapter 1. Barbra A. Meek: Configuring Language(s) and Speakers: Politics of an Aboriginal Ethnolinguistic Identity in the Yukon, Canada

Chapter 2. Nkonko M. Kamwangamalu: Language Policy in Post-Apartheid South Africa—An Evaluation

Part II—Pedagogies and Processes in Indigenous Language Reclamation

Chapter 3. Cath Rau, Waimātao Murphy, and Pem Bird: The Impact of "Culturalcy" in Ngā Kura ā Iwi Tribal Schools in Aotearoa/NZ: Mō Tātou, Mā Tātou, E Ai Ki a Tātou—For Us, By Us, Our Way

Chapter 4. Serafín M. Coronel-Molina:Media and Technology: Revitalizing Latin American Indigenous Languages in Cyberspace           

Chapter 5. Inge Kral and Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis: Language Vitality In and Out of School in a Remote Indigenous Australian Context           

Chapter 6. Mary Hermes and Kendall A. King:Task-Based Language Learning for Ojibwe: A Case Study of Two Intermediate Adult Language Learners           

Chapter 7. Marja-Liisa Olthuis and Ciprian-Virgil Gerstenberger: Strengthening Indigenous Languages through Language Technology: The Case of Aanaar Saami in Finland

Part III—Prospects and Possibilities for Indigenous Language Reclamation

Chapter 8. Sheilah E. Nicholas: Without the Language, How Hopi Are You?: Hopi Cultural and Linguistic Identity Construction in Contemporary Linguistic Ecologies

Chapter 9. Prem Phyak: Transformation from the Bottom Up: Ideological Analysis with Indigenous Youth and Language Policy Justice in Nepal

Chapter 10. Rosalva Mojica Lagunas: Language Key Holders for Mexicano: The Case of an Intergenerational Community in Coatepec de los Costales, Mexico

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