Indigenous language revitalization degree heads to Saskatoon

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 11:28am

The University of Victoria is setting up shop in Saskatoon, bringing a Master’s degree in Indigenous language to the prairie city.

UVic already offers a successful—and the only—master’s degree in the country specializing in Indigenous language revitalization, and it has drawn people from across Canada.

Now the program travels east from British Columbia to the University of Saskatchewan.

The goals of the program are to ensure a generation of language experts will have the language and academic skills to partici­pate and lead successful language revitalization efforts in Indigenous communities, and to develop language scholars who will have the expertise to support post-secondary instruction in the revital­ization, recovery and maintenance of Indigenous languages.

“I was excited when the University of Saskatchewan first approached us about this possibility,” said Onowa McIvor, director of Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at UVic.

“Our vision is to work together with our university partner and the group of students who are already leaders in language revitalization who are now training to become ambassadors and visionaries and to truly lead the charge of the language revitalization movement in Saskatchewan.

In the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings in 2015, this program is part of a larger movement of language revitalization activities across the country.”

At the graduate level, Indigenous Education in partnership with the Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of Humanities at UVic offers a graduate certificate and master’s degree program in Indigenous language revitalization.

Faculty members from the University of Saskatchewan, which is located in Saskatoon and offers undergraduate, graduate and professional programs to a student population of more than 20,000, including more than 2,200 Indigenous students, will help in teaching and supervising the UVic students.