Anishinaabemowin: Teachers' Practices in Manitoba

  • Author / Creator
    Okemaw, Violet N
  • The purpose of this study is to develop a deeper understanding of the relationships among Anishinaabe language and literacies, Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), and bimaadiziwin (“a way of life” in the Anishinaabe language) by exploring current Aboriginal language teaching and learning practices. The study is based on the perceptions and experiences of four Anishinaabe language teachers in Manitoba, Canada. It is informed by the author’s experiences as an Anishinaabe speaker, a former language teacher, a consultant, an instructor, and a school administrator. The research is based on a theoretical and conceptual framework reflective of an Indigenous perspective to address the research questions: (1) How are Anishinaabe language teachers incorporating IKS and bimaadiziwin into their Indigenous language and literacies programs? (2) What experiences and resources can these teachers identify that would enhance their ability to incorporate IKS and bimaadiziwin into their teaching of the Anishinaabe language and literacies in the classroom?In this study, the language-teacher participants identified Anishinaabe traditional teachings, land-based learning, and a variety of other language teaching and learning practices, such as discussing and utilizing humour, promoting healthy lifestyles with students, and using technology, as the main teaching and learning practices within their current Anishinaabe language and literacies programs. The enhanced resources and experiences they identified included the importance of knowing and living one’s Indigenous knowledge (IK) and bimaadiziwin, and knowledge of the traditional teachings, such as minwaadiziwin (kindness), maanaji’iwin (respect), zaagi’idiwin (love), debwemowin (truth), and dabasenimowin (humility). When one can practice these traditional teachings on a daily basis, according to the Elders, one is living a mino-bimaadiziwin (a good life). Other teaching and learning practices identified by the language teachers included, but were not limited to, involvement of Elders and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers as the most knowledgeable and experienced people, access to print and non-print language materials, ongoing face-to-face interaction with students, and language immersion programming. The study results revealed that the Anishinaabe language teachers were providing amazingly deep cultural and linguistic foundations within their individual classrooms by utilizing their own IK and bimaadiziwin as the foundation of their teaching and learning practices. The cultural and spiritual nuances embedded in these Anishinaabe language and literacies programs provided deeper cultural and linguistic understandings of teaching and learning practices and insights not previously researched.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.