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Indigenous Roots In Canadian Soil by Anna Wilson MEd Open Access


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Anna Wilson MEd.
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Conference/workshop Poster
This poster answers the question "How can educators motivate students to learn Aboriginal languages?" The answer is to return to the original Aboriginal names of Canada's provinces and territories before European contact enabling Aboriginal students to reclaim their ancestors' rightful place in Canadian history. This answer is supported by the following concepts: 1. We must learn the Indigenous names of the land to learn how to be better stewards of the land. “In Cree Canada means the land that is clean” (Cardinal, 1951, p.3). Skutnabb-Kangas (2001) argues that the preservation of global linguistic diversity is essential to ecological biodiversity (p. 208). 2. Indigenous languages must be de-stigmatized to inspire Aboriginal students to learn them. 3. Learning the Aboriginal names of the Canadian provinces and territories prior to European contact is a good way to increase Aboriginal pride for Aboriginal lands using Aboriginal languages. For centuries, the names described the natural features of the land, or commemorated significant historical events, passed from one generation to the next. Many of these names still survive today. Many Canadian towns, cities, rivers and mountains also have names that come from Aboriginal sources. My argument is that the Aboriginal names of Canada's provinces and territories must become a pillar of the Canadian school curriculum in the struggle to de-stigmatize Indigenous languages. I argue that educators must become active on the policy committee for UNESCO’s Endangered Languages Program in order to revitalize the Canadian Indigenous Languages. I believe that the Indigenous epistemologies embedded within Indigenous languages be taught to non indigenous students in an effort to de-stigmatize Indigenous languages. I will prove this by creating a map of Canada with the Aboriginal names before European contact.
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