Nim-bii-go-nini Ojibwe language revitalization strategy : families learning our language at home
Master of Education
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The Nim-bii-go-nini Ojibwe Language Revitalization Strategy is a grassroots approach to language learning that has been in collaborative development and implementation with members of my family since December 2008. Nim-bii-go-nini is two words: Nim-bii-go, more commonly pronounced Nipigon, and Nini, meaning people. We are Lake Nipigon Ojibwe people. This study is one response to some of the negative intergenerational impacts that the Residential Schools have on Aboriginal youth and their families, particularly loss of language and loss of culture. This revitalization strategy is an Eight Cycle Process that includes Basic and Assessment Processes that aid in the organization and development of our language learning plan. Situated within a combined feminist and Indigenous theoretical framework, the study took a participatory action approach wherein I observed and documented my family's ongoing efforts to generate momentum for the revitalization of the Nim-bii-go-nini Ojibwe language. A phenomenological interview approach helped me gain insight into the impacts ofNim-bii-go-nini Ojibwe language acquisition. In particular, this study describes how my family has needed to renew our familial relationships and rebuild our cultural foundation so that intergenerational knowledge sharing can fully occur; without this renewal and rebuilding, the initial stages of the revitalization of our language could not have taken place. This study demonstrates more than a reversal of the colonizing homogenization of the Western education imposed on us, it is an example of a grassroots effort to rebuild the frayed social fabric of our Indigenous societies through families coming together to learn their language.