Indigenous Success Stories

Language and Culture (13-17)

Indigenous Education scholar: Onawa McIvor

September 21, 2020

Uvic News – Language revitalization continues to thrive in Indigenous communities across Canada and the world, according to new research Indigenous education scholar, Onowa McIvor University of Victoria’s newest President’s Chair, received COVID-19 Emergency Research Funding from the Faculty of Education to conduct a short-term study of the effects of COVID-19 on Indigenous language revitalization work. Early findings show that many communities have successfully adapted in ways that allowed for the continuation of language revitalization. The study also illustrates the vital role that language is playing in keeping communities safe and informed during a time of crisis.

“Indigenous communities quickly began to create digital resources in their own languages to teach community members about the new virus as well as how to protect themselves,” says McIvor. This shift to virtual language learning may also have lasting benefits for language revitalization work. Their study shows greater accessibility to new online classes from those who were previously unable to participate in face-to-face learning due to geographic location.