CILLDI 2003

The 2003 Institute was held at the University of Alberta for the first time, from July 28th to August 14th 2003. This decision was made based on travel difficulties for students, as well as the resources available when working from a university campus. Eighty-nine individual students from Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories were registered in the following eight classes:

NS 380: An Introduction to Dene Language and Culture (Instructor Valerie Wood)

NS 380: Web-based Resource Development for Indigenous Languages (Instructor Jordan Lachler, Teaching Assistant Hongguo Cui)

LING 101: Introduction to Linguistics for Aboriginal Language Speakers (Instructor Sally Rice ,Teaching Assistant Sarah Shulist)

LING 205/599: Practical Phonetics (with a special focus on Indigenous language documentation)(Instructor John Newman , Teaching Assistant Dinorah Harber)

EDES 401/501: Literacy and Drama in Aboriginal Language Education (Instructor Diana Steinhauer, Teaching Assistants Steve Andreas and Darrell Wildcat)

EDES 395: Introduction to Language and Literacy Development (Instructor Susan Walsh)

EDES 445/595: Teaching Second Languages in Elementary School (Instructor Barb Laderoute, Teaching Assistant Minnie McKenzie)

EDEL 496/595: Ethnography: Inquiry into the Social Context of Aboriginal Language, Literacy, and Learning (Instructor Heather Blair)

As in previous years, this Institute was opened and closed with a sharing circle. Elders played an important role as language informants, cultural leaders, historians, counselors, and spiritual guides.  CILLDI 2013 placed emphasis on community building within its university location; some of its highlights were a Cree Immersion Day Camp and an Elders Program.

Languages spoken by students at the 2003 Institute included Cree, Dakota, Dene Suline, Dogrib, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Michif, Nakoda, North Slavey, Plains Cree, and Tlicho.

A report published by the Northern Arizona University in 2003 and written by Heather Blair, Donna Paskemin, and Barbara Laderoute aimed to “outline the goals of the Institute; describe its development, administration, and funding; give examples of curriculum and pedagogy,” and discuss how CILLDI had impacted Indigenous language use. This document gives a brief history of Indigenous language teaching in Western Canada since 1970, as well as the events and concerns that lead to the development of CILLDI.

“At CILLDI we believe that the knowledge inherent in Indigenous languages and cultures and the voice of Indigenous people is critical for the maintenance of linguistic and cultural diversity in Western Canada and that the loss of these languages and cultures will have dire consequences for both the Indigenous groups and Canadian society as a whole…  These ideas are also supported in other Indigenous communities, as is evident in this statement by Maori researcher and educator Smith (1999) when she stated, ‘The past, our stories local and global, the present, our communities, cultures, languages and social practices – all may be spaces of marginalization, but they have also become spaces of resistance and hope.’ The Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute is becoming such a space.”

The PDF is available here.