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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring the use of mobile language learning technology as a means for urban Indigenous youth to connect to identity and culture Shilling, Amber Jean


This study draws on Anishinaabe teachings and Indigenous methodology such as storywork (Archibald, 2008) to engage urban Indigenous youth in discussions on how they use technology to connect with identity, culture, and language and consider how this may inform cultural and linguistic preservation and revitalization efforts in the future. Beginning each discussion with ceremony, sharing circles and one-on-one conversations were used as methods within this research, further supplemented by field notes. Following traditional protocol in the design, implementation, and writing process ensured participant stories were treated with reverence and minimal interference on the part of the researcher. The stories of participants were organized by considering important pieces of information as stars, and groupings of similar stars as constellations. Reading the sky emerged as a way to acknowledge previous work in language revitalization and consider new directions based on the teachings shared by the youth. The stories shared within this process demonstrate youth’s desire to participate in the creation of digital learning repositories for community members. Social media emerged as an area for increased focus on teaching and learning within Indigenous communities, suggesting prioritizing relationships and online communities is a promising strategy for engaging youth in language and cultural learning opportunities.

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