Speaker: Dr. Donna Patrick, Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University
Date: Thursday, November 30
Time: 10:30 AM to12:00 PM
Location: Ponderosa Commons North, Multipurpose Room (PCN 2012)
In Canada, more than 70 Indigenous languages, cutting across 12 language “families” or groups, are considered endangered, a situation that has sparked political, legal, media, and educational attention. While endangered languages and contexts of language use are often analyzed separately from their political, economic, and social-historical contexts, in this presentation I examine all of these elements together through the lens of language education. I trace the past 50 years or so of bilingual and Inukut-language education research, practice, and outcomes, considering socio-anthropological aspects of language use and education in the Canadian legal-historical context and the trajectory of settler colonialism in the Canadian North. Drawing on over thirty years of experience working with Inuit in Canada – in particular, Nunavik (Arctic Quebec) – I try to unravel some of the complexities around Inuit language teaching and how and why particular language education models, systems, and outcomes persist, despite research developments in bilingual and dual-language education and calls for change.
The presentation’s title, “Going to school in a different world”, comes from Wigglesworth and Simpson (2018; Language Practices of Indigenous Children and Youth: The Transition from home to school, Palgrave Macmillan). However, rather than simply acknowledging that many Indigenous children in Canada’s North spend entire days in institutions vastly different from their home language communities, I explain how a “different world” has been, or could be, re-imagined for many of them. Where such a “different world” has already been imagined, teaching models, systems, and outcomes have, in some cases, been transformed; elsewhere, such a world could be created but for a myriad of reasons has not (yet).
About Dr. Donna Patrick:
Donna Patrick is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University in Ottawa. Her research has focused on Indigenous and minority language politics, rights, and practices, and has included work on Indigenous language education, teaching and learning, critical literacies, and social semiotics. She has worked with Inuit and on Inuit languages for over thirty years and since 2003 has worked on a number of participatory research projects with Inuit in Ottawa and Montreal.
The talk will be followed by a pizza social event organized by the LLED GPA team, from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM.
RSVP for Pizza Social: https://forms.gle/xN1fGYZTpv4v6KWo8