Category Archives: racial

Some important things to remember about Language


I’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately, from aboriginal people who are unfortunate enough to be cornered on CBC, about the Connection to the Land that aboriginal people have, etc. This is in the context of land rights and … Continue reading

Posted in colonialism, cultural meaning, history, language, newsmedia, racial, treaty | Tagged | 1 Comment

What I learned from the class I taught at PENT


I just finished up teaching a class in the PENT program at Brandon. (Program for the Education of Native Teachers.) It’s a great program that brings students down from the far north and gets them into intensive courses for their … Continue reading

Posted in academia, blackfoot, colonialism, cultural meaning, education, history, language, ojibwa, phonology, plains cree, racial, semantics, Siouan, swampy cree, translation, woods cree | 3 Comments

NS260 Day 16: Who should teach the language?


This is the last day of NS260: Issues for Teaching Native Languages. This class covers issues related to who should teach the language and what should be taught. Day 16 The slide set ends with some discussion written by Richard Littlebear, a Cheyenne … Continue reading

Posted in academia, algonquian, colonialism, education, history, language, philosophy, racial, racism, Siouan | Leave a comment

Missing posts


If you’re looking for a post that seems to not longer be there, it’s likely because I deleted it. I’ve gotten almost an unending stream of hate mail about various cultural things I’ve talked about on this blog. Mind you, … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, racial | Leave a comment

Never ceases to amaze me…


… what kind of things the general populace will buy about aboriginal people. Wholesale and without any fact-checking, too. For example, this meme is running around facebook and twitter lately, it seems: http://divineirony.tumblr.com/post/31318101843/two-spirit-people Aside from the bizarre issues of ’130 tribes’ … Continue reading

Posted in colonialism, cultural meaning, history, newsmedia, philosophy, racial, racism, Religion | Leave a comment

Day 1 of Ojibwa Class (cont’d): The Speaker and The Linguist


The other thing I usually talk about in the first day of a class like this is something I’m often asked, and something I think is both a good question and an important question: What is the difference between a … Continue reading

Posted in academia, cultural meaning, grammar, language, Methodology, philosophy, racial | 13 Comments

ana kâ-pimwêwêhahk okakêskihkêmowina: The Counselling Speeches of Jim Kâ-Nîpitêhtêw


People often complain that there’s nothing to read in Plains Cree – a complaint that actually is less true than it is for just about any other aboriginal language spoken in North America. Plains Cree has one of the best … Continue reading

Posted in academia, colonialism, cultural meaning, english, history, language, newsmedia, philosophy, plains cree, racial, racism, Religion, semantics, translation, treaty | 2 Comments

A primer on what Linguistic Fieldwork Really Is, or: If you don’t think about Culture, you’re screwed


An interesting attack that is often directed at me from people outside the language world goes something like this: Linguists work on language, Culturists [Fill in the blank with pet Culture Studies Field] work on culture, Religionists [Fill in blank with … Continue reading

Posted in academia, colonialism, cultural meaning, history, language, Methodology, philosophy, plains cree, racial, racism, Religion | 4 Comments

The ‘Official Language’ debate


Right now, there’s quite a bit of controversy over whether or not aboriginal languages should be made ‘official’ languages of Canada, in parallel to French and English. The Assembly of First Nations appears to be planning on demanding this, and there … Continue reading

Posted in algonquian, cultural meaning, Indo-European, language, newsmedia, philosophy, racial | 25 Comments

Identity in Language: Alice Ahenakew’s description of her ancestry


The discussions about Métis and Status identity remind me of Alice Ahenakew. She was interviewed at length by Freda Ahenakew back in the 80s, and the interviews were published in book form as ah-ayitaw isi ê-kî-kiskêyihtahkik maskihkiy: They knew both … Continue reading

Posted in change, conjunct, cultural meaning, english, finals, history, independent, morpheme, noun, order, particle, person, phonology, plains cree, prenoun, preverb, racial, reference, root, semantics, swampy cree, syntax, verb | 2 Comments