Honoring our heritage: culturally appropriate approaches for teaching indigenous students

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [University of Calgary]On: 07 October 2014, At: 16:53Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Journal of Multilingual andMulticultural DevelopmentPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rmmm20</p><p>Honoring our heritage: culturallyappropriate approaches for teachingindigenous studentsAugie Fleras aa Department of Sociology , University of Waterloo , Waterloo ,ON , CanadaPublished online: 24 Feb 2012.</p><p>To cite this article: Augie Fleras (2012) Honoring our heritage: culturally appropriate approachesfor teaching indigenous students, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 33:3,315-316, DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2012.656973</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2012.656973</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoeveror howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to orarising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp;Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rmmm20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/01434632.2012.656973http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2012.656973http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>of whether or not (as she claims in her introduction) western-origin theories need to be</p><p>modified to account for the situation in the Arab world.</p><p>http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2012.656971 Eirlys E. Davies and Abdelali Bentahila</p><p>Abdelmalek Essaadi University</p><p>BP 1220 Tanger Principal, Tangier, Morocco</p><p>eirlys_davies@hotmail.com; bentahilaali@hotmail.com</p><p># 2012, Eirlys E. Davies and Abdelali Bentahila</p><p>Honoring our heritage: culturally appropriate approaches for teaching indigenous students,</p><p>edited by Jon Reyhner, Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert and Louise Lockard, Flagstaff, Arizona,</p><p>Northern Arizona University College of Education, 2011, xii198 pp., $20.00 (paperback),ISBN 978-0-96705-545-9</p><p>Indigenous language revitalization: encouragement, guidance and lessons learned, edited by Jon</p><p>Reyhner and Louise Lockhard, Flagstaff, Arizona, Northern Arizona University College of</p><p>Education, 2009, viii214 pp., $15.00 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-96705-544-2</p><p>The child shall lead the way</p><p>Te Kohanga Reo Foundational Principle</p><p>I was very fortunate to have witnessed and studied the birth and spectacular growth of a</p><p>revolutionary language reclamation/learning project as part of a post-doctoral fellowship I</p><p>accepted in the early 1980s. Language immersion preschools called Te Kohanga Reo (TKR) Maori language nests focused on averting the rapid decline of te reo Maori (the Maorilanguage) among the youth (rangatahi) of the different Maori tribes (hapu and iwi) in</p><p>Aotearoa, New Zealand. The focus of TKR on language skills for infants and preschoolers</p><p>(mokopuna), through immersion in te reo was unprecedented. Even more innovative was the</p><p>process, centred on an extended-family (whanau) approach in the design, organisation and</p><p>operation of each language nest. Instead of enlisting experts and aligning formal teachers with</p><p>convoluted curricula/pedagogical theories, the authenticity of these language nests relied on</p><p>the goodwill and voluntary efforts of the entire community from elders (kaumatua) whooffered a culturally safe environment for language and culture (tikanga) learning, to the</p><p>unpaid contributions and labour of parents and youth in operating full-day immersion on a</p><p>shoestring budget.</p><p>To say that TKR proved a splendid success in mobilising Maori is an understatement.</p><p>From its inception in 1982, to 1994, there emerged 800 language nests nationwide, catering to</p><p>some 14,000 preschoolers, and eventually exerting pressure to extend Maori immersion into</p><p>primary (kura kaupapa) and secondary schools (whare kura), culminating in the establishment</p><p>of language-based tertiary institutions (whare wananga). With about 60,000 graduates of the</p><p>TKR movement, the decline of te reo appears to have been curbed, thus ensuring its status as a</p><p>living language. The popularity and success of TKR also contributed to (or perhaps even</p><p>served as a catalyst in) the politicisation of Maori-Crown relations along the lines of Maori</p><p>self-determination (tino rangatiratanga) in effect demonstrating how theory could be put intopractice, and vice versa. The concept of community-based language nests was subsequently</p><p>adopted by other Pacific cultures in New Zealand, including Fijian, Tongan, Samoan and</p><p>Rarotangan, and then deployed with some degree of success in a Hawaiian context (Puanana</p><p>Leo).</p><p>Images of the TKR project kept dancing in and out of the pages of the books under review</p><p>here. The collection of articles in Honoring Our Heritage serves to remind us how indigenous</p><p>students in the USA like the rangatahi down under experience difficulty in finding</p><p>Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 315</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alga</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 1</p><p>6:53</p><p> 07 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p><p>http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2012.656971</p></li><li><p>meaning in a decontextualised and one-size-fits-all curriculum, including a standardised</p><p>instruction schedule that is disconnected from their cultures, communities and lives. Too many</p><p>indigenous students find the school experience alienating and success elusive; after all, they</p><p>must become someone other than themselves, speak a language that does not resonate with</p><p>their innermost intentions, and behave like strangers when they discover the irrelevance of</p><p>their learning at home and the community. This collection is predicated on the premise that</p><p>educating indigenous youth can be improved by building upon their cultural heritage and</p><p>involving both family and community. The first two chapters provide an overview of the</p><p>principles associated with culturally appropriate education, while the last two reflect case</p><p>studies in indigenising education. In between are numerous examples of students and teachers</p><p>engaging in the practices of a collaborative and community-based learning experience, linking</p><p>culture and home life with a meaningful and effective educational programme.</p><p>Woven throughout the chapters is a commitment to the principle of culturally appropriate</p><p>education, one that melds curriculum with pedagogy, including a rethinking of institutional</p><p>organisation and power structures; school policies, programmes and procedures; and levels of</p><p>community involvement. The plea for culturally appropriate education is not just a basic</p><p>human right and good educational practice, it is argued, but also consistent with the principles</p><p>of indigenous peoples self-determination, as enshrined in Article 14 of the Declaration of the</p><p>Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007). Finally, many of the authors endorse the value of a place-</p><p>based education (alongside a culturally responsive and learner-centred system) for its role in</p><p>strengthening communities and responding to their needs, while capitalising on local talent,</p><p>expertise and resources without taxing band/tribe revenues.</p><p>No less interesting is Indigenous Language Revitalization. It too consists of selected articles</p><p>and speeches taken from the annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages conferences. Most of</p><p>the papers are generally descriptive of strategies and tactics for enhancing language retention in some ways reflective of the books subtitle including two articles that touch on aspects andimplications of TKR. As well, there are several more theoretical pieces, dealing with the</p><p>politics of ideological justification, the effectiveness of technology and the role of linguists in</p><p>language reclamation work. At the heart of each article is a passionate commitment to</p><p>preserving indigenous languages as the heartbeat of a culture. The transmission of language to</p><p>children must take precedence over everything else, preferably through an immersion</p><p>environment that empowers as it enlightens a theme most eloquently expressed in anintroductory chapter by Darrell Kipp of the Piegan Institute. To the extent that they exist,</p><p>disagreements among the contributors tend to revolve about how best to put this principle into</p><p>practice for overturning the toxicity of centuries of linguicide.</p><p>Despite their different foci, both books share a commitment to culturally appropriate</p><p>education for indigenous students through the incorporation of their own language skills.</p><p>Each would be of value to those interested in expanding their understanding of inclusive</p><p>education that challenges notions of conventional ways of knowing, and knowledge. To be</p><p>sure, many of the chapters are quite specialised and detailed. Still, however much their limited</p><p>appeal to a general demographic may be, these books offer a valuable resource for any</p><p>educator working with indigenous children. Both may also prove invaluable for teachers who</p><p>are looking for strategies and hands-on resources to stimulate student-centred and inquiry-</p><p>orientated learning in changing and diverse school environments.</p><p>http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2012.656973 Augie Fleras</p><p>Department of Sociology</p><p>University of Waterloo</p><p>Waterloo, ON, Canada</p><p>fleras@uwaterloo.ca</p><p># 2012, Augie Fleras</p><p>316 Book reviews</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity o</p><p>f C</p><p>alga</p><p>ry] </p><p>at 1</p><p>6:53</p><p> 07 </p><p>Oct</p><p>ober</p><p> 201</p><p>4 </p><p>http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2012.656973</p></li></ul>


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