Indigenous Youth and Language Survival

Teresa L. McCarty, Snell Professor, School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University, and National Endowment for the Humanities Resident Scholar

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Teresa L. McCartyTeresa L. McCarty2011–2012 National Endowment for the Humanities Resident ScholarTeresa L. McCarty2011–2012 National Endowment for the Humanities Resident Scholar

Research with Native American communities undergoing rapid heritage-language loss counters the idea that youth simply abandon their heritage languages, replacing them with “killer” or colonizing languages. Drawing on a long-term, multi-sited ethnographic study, this presentation explores how youth construct implicit but potent language policies in the context of peer culture, the culture of schooling, and broader frames of reference. While these processes yield language endangerment, they also foreground youth’s potential as active agents in community-based language reclamation.

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