Learning an indigenous language as a second language must take place in the contexts it is used. If teachers decide to teach about a topic, it must be discussed in terms of the contexts that it exists and is used contemporarily, historically and for the future.
A YouTube video illustrates how a teacher takes a broad idea, Ojibway sugar bushing and has children of all ages experience the process on the land, as it exists today. He then brings the learning back into the classroom for reflection, exploration and language reinforcement.
Books published by Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre also provide land or place based visuals in Ojibway suitable for various grads.
Nitsitapiisinni is an educational resource illustrating how language emerges from a place. Grade four students along with Kanai teachers and community explore the gift of plants.
Cree (th dialect)
Wapos Bay, a television series produced by Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) for elementary children is available in Cree and Inuktitut.
The NFB website has also developed teacher guides for many of the shows, although they are English, some ideas can be adapted for Indigenous second language classrooms. Some classroom teachers have used this series as a springboard to have students create puppet shows using sock puppets and the language used in the community.
Upper elementary students learning about land/place in Cree may also benefit from the series starting with Pisim finds her Miskanow (requires Flash Player). There is a teacher’s guide and a CD available in Cree as well.
A storybook titled, Honouring the Buffalo is available in audio in ‘Y’ dialect of Cree.
The Cree Literacy Network also provides a list of print books for purchase.
A NWT Cree program also makes available Cree resources, which may be adapted for various land based contexts.
Native Reflections is another source for books and teaching materials in different languages.
Yukon Native Language Centre Publications provide resources in Athapaskan dialects.
Byron through the Seasons is a book produced by Dene children in La Loche, Saskatchewan. It is available on Amazon for purchase.
First People’s website has a resource book listing authentic Indigenous story books for K-7. There are numerous dual language texts, but more importantly they authentically reflect the circumstances and world views of the children. Even if the language is wrong, it can be covered and the illustrations can be used.
The NWT Cree program also makes available Cree resources, which may be adapted for various land based contexts
Michell, H. (2005) Nihithawak of Reindeer Lake Canada.
This website was developed by the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT) with funding from the Government of Alberta. It provides practical resources for teachers of Indigenous languages as well as links to teacher training programs and contemporary research on Indigenous language teaching and acquisition.
CASLT National Office
2490 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 1E1