Western Papers in Linguistics / Cahiers linguistiques de Western

Article Title

De-colonizing Gender in Indigenous Language Revitalization Efforts


It has been predicted that of the 60 Indigenous languages in Canada today, only 4 will remain by 2100 (Pitawanakwat, 2009). The effects of colonization and globalization on Indigenous communities have continued into the present and have consequently led to a loss in identity, culture, and language, ultimately altering gender relations within Indigenous communities as well. While there has been an increase in efforts to revitalize indigenous languages in a way that does not further colonize language communities, the approach to doing so may still reflect a western ideological approach to education. Furthermore, the effects of western constructions of gender that are embedded in language revitalization ideology are rarely discussed. This paper looks at how language revitalization efforts can be improved, by examining the underlying ideology of language revitalization projects.

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