McGill Symposium on the Role of the University in Supporting Indigenous Languages

May 10 - 11, 2018, Montreal & Kahnawà:ke

About the Conference

In response to Call to Action #34 of the Final Report of McGill’s Task Force on Indigenous Education and Indigenous Studies, on May 10th and 11th, the Department of Linguistics and the Office of First Nations and Inuit Education are jointly hosting a symposium examining the role of the university in Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization.

Organized with the support of the Kanien’keháka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Centre, McGill Faculties of Arts and Education, the McGill Indigenous Studies Program, and McGill's Institute for the Study of International Development, the purpose of this Symposium is to:

(a) signal McGill’s commitment to Indigenous languages in this province and
(b) examine more closely what role the University should play in supporting the health of Indigenous languages, locally and regionally.

The Symposium will involve both closed-door and public sessions with the goals of establishing a broad consultative body on this question and developing a concrete plan of action for McGill to pursue. Special invitees include Indigenous language teachers, scholars, and university program directors from across Canada.

The Symposium is Over, Now What?

The symposium has now ended but the work hasn't. Check out some special highlights here and sign up to recieve a copy of the vision paper.

Special thank you to the invited speakers and all those who attended.

location

Locations

Day 1
Education Building, McGill University
3700 Rue McTavish, Montreal


Day 2
Kanien'keháka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center
969 Cemetery Rd., Cemetary Rd, Kahnawà:ke

location

Dates: May 10 - 11

Special Invitees Sessions: Mornings
Public Open Forums: Afternoons

From Across Canada

Special Invitees

John Cree

Elder Kanehsatà:ke

Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins

University of Victoria

Ryan DeCaire

Onkwawén:na Kentyohkwa,
University of Toronto

Karonhienhawe Linda Delormier

Chairperson, KORLCC

Mary Diamond-Bear

Cree School Board

Gabrielle Doreen

Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory,
McGill University

Ellen Gabriel

Kanehsatà:ke Education Centre

Megan Lukaniec

Huron-Wendat Nation,
UC Santa Barbara

Brian Maracle

Onkwawén:na Kentyohkwa

Akwiratékha' Martin

Kahnawà:ke Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa

Onowa McIvor

nehiyaw Nation,
University of Victoria

Mary Ann Metallic

Listuguj Education Directorate

Rita Novalinga

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq

Kahtehrón:ni Stacey

Kahnawà:ke Education Centre

Keren Rice

University of Toronto

Mark Turin

University of British Columbia

McGill Community Forum

  • What are some of the biggest challenges communities are facing when it comes to language revitalization? In what ways might universities or other partners help to address these challenges?

  • What are challenges or barriers to university–community collaboration when it comes to language initiatives in communities. Are there ways these challenges can be addressed?

  • What are things universities (or university staff) need to be aware of when working together with communities? What are some things communities should be aware of when working with universities?

  • If you could have a university working with your community, what would this partnership look like?

  • Outside of language-learning courses, what other types of courses can increase awareness and understanding of Indigenous language endagerment and revitalization?

  • What are some of the challenges for McGill in teaching Indigenous languages (either in community-based programs or in on-campus programs)?

  • Should there be a focus on offering specific Indigenous language classes at McGill? [Which language(s) would be a priority?]

  • How can McGill become more open to a different way of Indigenous language education and assessment (e.g., land-based learning)?

  • What contributions can Universities make in addressing the challenge of Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization?

  • What contributions can Universities make in addressing the challenge of Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization?

  • What contributions can Universities make in addressing the challenge of Indigenous language maintenance and revitalization?

Register for Day 1 (McGill University)

Kahnawà:ke Community Forum

  • What has been most successful in your community in overcoming barriers to language learning, either inside or beyond the classroom?

  • What are some of the most pressing, obstinate challenges to language-learning? What work remains to be done?

  • What are some examples you have of successful ways that universities have been able to support in-community language work? What has worked well?

  • What are some examples you have of successful ways that universities have been able to support in-community language work?

  • What are examples of successful in-community language revitalization initiatives? And how can community and university-initiatives build off these successes?

  • What kinds of outside expertise and resources usefully build off of the knowledge and experience of community language workers?

  • What are the challenges for outside institutions working in-community?

Register for Day 2 (Kahnawà:ke)

What to expect

Event Schedule

Time
Speaker
Talk / Panel
Place
8.30

Closed Door Session

MSIL Invitees “Special Invitee Session: Building on Our Strengths”

11.30
Public

Exhibits Niwîchâwâkan: The Cree Syllabics Virtual Reality Project Cree (Minority Media); Speaking the Inuit Way & Cree: The People’s Language (Canadian Language Museum)

Education Building Lobby
1.30

Elder John Cree

Ceremony

Opening Ceremony with Elder John Cree with welcomes from the Deans of Arts and Education and representatives from Heritage Canada.

Education Building, Jack Cram Auditorium
1.45

Kahtehrón:ni Iris Stacey

Keynote

“Indigenous Language Revitalization and Community Empowerment”

Education Building, Jack Cram Auditorium
2.20

Ryan DeCaire, Ellen Gabriel, Brian Maracle,
Akwiratékha’ Martin,
Mary Ann Metallic,
Rita Novalinga

Panel Discussion

Panel 1 “What is a university’s role in supporting Indigenous language work in communities?” Moderated by Janine Metallic

Education Building, Jack Cram Auditorium
3.05

Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins,
Megan Lukaniec, Onowa McIvor,
Keren Rice, Mark Turin

Panel Discussion

Panel 2 “What is a university’s role in supporting Indigenous language work on university campuses?”. Moderater: Jessica Coon.

Education Building, Jack Cram Auditorium
3.50

Brainstorm Session

“Break-Out Post-it Forum” Led by Stephen Peters

Education Building, Jack Cram Auditorium
4.15

Mary Bear, Angela Campbell,
Martha Crago, Gabrielle Doreen,
Kahtehrón:ni Stacey

Panel Discussion

“What is McGill University’s role in supporting Indigenous language work?” Moderated by Jim Howden

Education Building, Jack Cram Auditorium
5.00

Elder John Cree

Ceremony

Closing Ceremony with Elder John Cree

Time
Speaker
Talk / Workshop
Place
1.00

Joe McGregor,
Karonhienhawe Linda Delormier

Ceremony

Opening Ceremony with Joe McGregor and Karonhienhawe Linda Delormier. Anthem Kwaharani Jacobs.

Host Hotel, Kahnawà:ke
1.30

Mary Bear, Gabrielle Doreen,
Brian Maracle, Akwiratékha’ Martin,
Mary Ann Metallic, Rita Novalinga

Panel Discussion

Conversation 1: Building on Our Successes Teaching Indigenous Languages Alternate questions between moderator and audience. Moderator: Ellen Gabriel

Host Hotel, Kahnawà:ke
2.15

Break – Coffee and Snacks from Kwé Kwé

Host Hotel, Kahnawà:ke
2.30

Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins,
Ryan DeCaire, Megan Lukaniec,
Onowa McIvor, Keren Rice,
Mark Turin

Panel Discussion

Conversation 2: A Place for the University? Exploring Community–University Relationships. Moderator: Kahtehrón:ni Stacey.

Host Hotel, Kahnawà:ke
3.15

Joe McGregor, Linda Delormier,
Kahtehrón:ni Stacey

Ceremony Closing Ceremony by Joe McGregor, Linda Delormier, and Kahtehrón:ni Stacey.
Host Hotel, Kahnawà:ke

Feel The Pulse

Have Your Voice Heard

This symposium will lead to a “Vision Paper” addressing the role of the university in supporting Indigenous languages. Sign up to receive a copy.