Aboriginal peoples in Quebec are fighting for the survival of their language and culture. An essential component of Aboriginal decolonization and empowerment is the protection and enhancement of the Aboriginal heritage language. In this article, we review twenty years of research in Arctic Quebec (Nunavik) involving Inuit students educated in Inuktitut as well as in French and English. Our research reveals that children not only learn better in their own heritage language as opposed to one of the societally dominant languages, but also develop a more positive view of themselves, and a healthier view of Inuit as a group. Bilingual Education is shown to be of crucial importance for the vitality of Inuit language and culture.
- Bilingual Education,
Les peuples autochtones du Québec luttent afin de préserver la survie de leur langue et de leur culture. Un élément essentiel de la décolonisation et de l’autonomisation autochtone est la protection et l’enrichissement de la langue ancestrale autochtone. Dans cet article, nous effectuons une analyse de vingt années de recherche dans le Nord du Québec (Nunavik) impliquant des élèves inuits scolarisés en français et en anglais. Nos recherches ont révélé que ces enfants non seulement apprennent mieux dans leur propre langue ancestrale plutôt que dans une des langues dominantes de la société, mais aussi qu’ils développent une image d’eux-mêmes plus positive, et une représentation plus saine des Inuits en tant que groupe. Il est démontré que l’enseignement bilingue est d’une importance cruciale, contribuant à la vitalité de la langue et de la culture inuites.
- éducation bilingue,
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Donald M. Taylor is professor of Psychology at McGill University, Montreal. He has published both scientific articles, and books arising from projects in a variety of cultural settings including South Africa, Indonesia, Philippines, India and the United States. By far his longest term research and teaching commitment has been the fourteen communities of Arctic Quebec (Nunavik). His most recent book is entitled “The Quest for Identity” and is published by Praeger (2002).
Julie Caouette is a senior doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at McGill University, Montreal. Her research interests involve understanding the psychological mechanisms underlying intergroup social inequalities. Her master’s thesis explored when and how mainstream Canadians experience collective guilt with regard to the internal colonization of Aboriginal people. Her doctoral program of research focuses on group-based emotions, implicit emotions, collective guilt, egalitarianism and social responsibility in the context of Canadian society and Aboriginal people.
Esther Usborne is a senior doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at McGill University, Montreal. Her doctoral research explores cultural identity and its relationship to the self and psychological well-being. She is currently investigating cultural identity clarity among members of the Dene First Nation in the Northwest Territories. Esther is also involved in ongoing research projects focusing on the importance of heritage language instruction for Inuit children in Nunavik and Mi’kmaq children in Cape Breton. Among her scientific papers is a recent article addressing the motivation and well-being of Montreal street youth, and another summarizing research on the use of Inuktitut as a language of instruction in Arctic Quebec (Nunavik).
Stephen C. Wright is a professor at Simon Frazer University in psychology and Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology. He is interested in the social psychological study of intergroup relations and focuses on the concept of collective identity - that the groups we belong to form an essential part of our understanding of who we are. His research explores three related themes: Reducing Prejudice, Responding to Disadvantage, and finally Minority Languages & Heritage Culture. He published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
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