Saving Culture Through Language: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Ojibwe Language Immersion Educator Experience
Keywords:First Nations education, hermeneutics, indigenous language, language immersion, language revitalization, phenomenology
With the near extinction of many tribal languages at the present, language immersion education offers considerable promise for the restoration of Ojibwe culture and identity. Through a series of structured interviews and longitudinal text-based dialogue with the researcher, eight educators from three school-based programs described the lived practice of working with culture in language immersion education. The study principally revealed how the lived experience of Ojibwe language immersion educators is important, challenging, and rewarding. The dynamic synergy of culture, language, and content that happens in Ojibwe language immersion requires competent and creative educators who are knowledgeable about language, cultural traditions, and teaching practice. The study concludes by noting how the lived experience of immersion school practitioners as cultural workers is marked not only by excellence in practice and professionalism, but by dedication, responsibility, and hope for the future of the culture, language and tribal nation itself.
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