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"We Need to Make Action NOW, to Help Keep the Language Alive": Navigating Tensions of Engaging Indigenous Educational Values in University Education.

08:00 EDT 14th August 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of ""We Need to Make Action NOW, to Help Keep the Language Alive": Navigating Tensions of Engaging Indigenous Educational Values in University Education."

Despite centuries of contact and conquest, Indigenous communities persist in maintaining their cultures and psychologies. Key to this success in cultural survival is the maintenance of Indigenous languages, which contain distinct worldviews. However, Indigenous languages are at risk, with fewer and fewer fluent Elder speakers. Fortunately, there remain committed groups of community educators who carry out Indigenous language education. Current mainstream teacher education programs do not typically introduce the importance of Indigenous language education to teacher candidates, who are the next generation of K-12 teachers. We view this as highly problematic, and thus carried out a proof-of-concept project in which one U.S. university's American Indian/Alaska Native teacher candidates collaborated with, and learned from, Indigenous language educators during a two-week-long summer institute at the university. In our article, we share three main findings, based on qualitative analyses of daily-written student journals collected during the two-week pilot project: (a) Indigenous language education supports the social justice vision in the American Psychological Association's Multicultural Guidelines; (b) intergenerational educational opportunities are invaluable for affirming Indigenous psychologies; and (c) Indigenous community language educators do important survivance work. Our findings provide insight into how Indigenous language education is crucial for advancing education that honors Indigenous community psychological well-being.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: American journal of community psychology
ISSN: 1573-2770
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