Explain to students that they will respond to questions based on the following four themes. Introduce and explain each theme.
Identity, Family, and Community - Identity can be defined as the various ways individuals and groups define themselves by their beliefs, ethnicity, and culture, among other characteristics. Indigenous peoples may identify themselves through their tribe or tribal nation, and the Indigenous language they speak. Students will explore the connections and relationships between language, identity, family, and community.
Songs - Songs, or oral storytelling, often reflect cultural values, ethics, and beliefs. In Indigenous cultures, songs are passed down from generation to generation and many are under threat of disappearing. Songs can be stories that honor ancestors and the living world. Many Indigenous songs do not translate directly into another language, a reflection of how the messages are unique and specific to people and place. Students will explore the connections between songs, culture, and language vitality.
Language and Landscape - Indigenous languages reflect and express interconnection with land. Indigenous communities around the planet have developed traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and ways of knowing through generations of intimate contact with their homelands. These bodies of knowledge express the relationships of living beings with the environment. Students will explore how language and landscape are intertwined.
Language Revitalization - Language revitalization can be defined as learning activities, including language immersion schools and programs, to cultivate new speakers, especially where intergenerational transmission of the language has been disrupted. Students will explore the various ways in which each Indigenous speaker is keeping his/her language alive.