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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Culture and education among the Ditidaht: reflecting on sacredness, origins, and language Touchie, Bernice

Abstract

The thesis explores how a small First Nation community (pop. 770) could find a means for implementing programs for Native language revitalization that engenders the strengths from the culture as a conducive and more effective learning environment. The investigation was done as a qualitative case study that respects Indigenous standards for reciprocity and responsibility as a research style. Through a research-as-participant method, the research reciprocated with language initiatives as action research. In order for the language to excel using second-language methodologies, this study concludes, it will be necessary to form a receptive environment based on cultural concerns with sacred origins and local epistemologies. There is also a need for local reconciliation and healing resulting from injustices inflicted by colonialist policies. Much work is demanded in the local level in cultural interpretation and reconstruction of Indigenous knowledge, while revitalizing the First Native language through methodologies conducive to intergenerational passage and through collaborative organizational style. The research also found that First Nations both professional and lay-persons may not be aware of the need to break away from many Eurocentric paradigms that interfere with the full appreciation and application of Indigenous group dynamics and socialization.

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