Section 4: Reciprocal Research and Practice

Community-Led Language Revitalization

Salish Community University Research Alliance (CURA) project

In 2001, the SENĆOŦEN- and Hul′q′umi′num′-speaking people began planning with the linguistics department at the University of Victoria for ways their communities could deliver more language learning opportunities for all age groups.

Because the linguistics department was working closely with these communities on other important language revitalization projects, planning for new approaches continued to involve fluent speakers, language teachers, and language curriculum developers from communities across southern Vancouver Island: (W′SANEĆ (Saanich), Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay), T′Sou-ke (Sooke), Khowutz′un (Duncan), and Stz′uminus (Chemainus).

The project was guided by a steering committee with language speakers from each of the participating communities. The steering committee provided direction and guidance on each of the community-based initiatives undertaken as part of the larger research project.

In addition, the project was developed to ensure several community-based coordinators could be hired to work closely with each community to carry out each initiative. This was important, as it empowered and enabled each community to be responsive to any unanticipated changes and to seek any further guidance it might need from the steering committee and lead investigators.

This project is an excellent example of how tools such as SPECIALTYPATHLIST can be used to work through planning processes between researchers and communities and to enable strategies and actions to be developed in an informed way.

 Goals of this research project were to:

  • Conduct research to facilitate the revitalization of the SENĆOŦEN and Hul′q′umi′num′ languages
  • Facilitate the development of resources, materials, and programs needed to take a step toward the revitalization of the SENĆOŦEN and Hul′q′umi′num′ languages
  • Train Hul′q′umi′num′ Treaty Group and Saanich Native Heritage Society members in methods of research, teaching, and learning, which are related to the language revitalization process
  • Train non-Aboriginal university faculty and students in community-based research and have community members provide guidance on issues related to culture, protocols, and working in and with communities

Learn more about the Salish CURA project.


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Pulling Together: A Guide for Researchers, Hiłḵ̓ala Copyright © 2021 by Dianne Biin; Deborah Canada; John Chenoweth; and Lou-ann Neel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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