Language and Cultural Workshops

Language and culture are inextricably linked. The history of diminishing Indigenous cultural capacities and imposing English-only relationships has resulted in the distrust syndrome. Here Indigenous communities view linguistic and cultural resources with skepticism, even where they can become useful tools. The following workshops were designed to reconnect Indigenous community members with their language, their culture and themselves.

ka·kniknaʔmu (All My Relations): A workshop to reconnect to our roots. 
  • This workshop focused on the group dynamics of an Indigenous speech community recovering from unethical genealogical research from the 1990s. Workshop activities focused on understanding affective impacts of the researcher, community and family ownership of genealogical data and personalization of genograms and visual social networks.
What’s in a Name? Using language to organize our world.
  • This workshop explored the ways that a community’s language organizes its social world, from personal Indian names to traditional placenames. Participants engaged in conversation designed to connect disenfranchised individuals to the linguistic and cultural information often taboo or inaccessible to today’s youth.
The Basics of Psycholinguistics 
  • This workshop introduced Indigenous speech community members to basic ideas from psycholinguistics in a non-jargon straightforward manner. It was designed to lower the affect of filters at the speech community by “taking the magic out of the science”. Discussions focused heavily on U-shaped learning, parsing and chunking, affective filters and the noticing hypothesis.