As NEȾOLṈEW̱’s co-leads, Dr. Onowa McIvor (Maskēkowak), professor of Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria, and Dr. Peter Jacobs (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh), professor of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University offer a shared wealth of experience in collaborative community partnerships and Indigenous language research. In building upon the Indigenous language learning assessment tool they have developed with community research partners and collaborators, Drs. McIvor and Jacobs have mobilized resources to join efforts with partners in forming this learning and research network to collectively strengthen Indigenous language revitalization efforts.
Dr. Onowa McIvor
tânisi kiyawaw (greetings to you all). I am maskiko-nehiyaw (Swampy Cree) and Scottish-Canadian. My nehiyaw family is from Norway House and Cross Lake in northern Manitoba. I was born and raised in northern Saskatchewan and have been a grateful visitor in SENĆOŦEN and Lekwungen speaking territories for over 20 years. I am a nêhiyâwiwin language learner and language warrior.
I completed a PhD in Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia in 2012. My dissertation îkakwiy nihiyawiyân: I am learning [to be] Cree explored the largely understudied area of adult Indigenous language learning. During this time, I was also the Director of Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria (UVic) from 2008 and 2017, where I helped to develop and oversaw interdisciplinary, community-based Indigenous-language revitalization undergraduate and graduate certificate, diploma and degree programs.
As an Associate Professor of Indigenous Education in the Department of Indigenous Education at UVIC, I teach, supervise graduate students and contribute in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in Indigenous language revitalization. My current areas of research span the fields of Indigenous language revitalization, immersion and bilingual education, sociocultural language learning, additional language acquisition, Indigenous education, and Indigenous health and well-being. As a co-lead on this SSHRC Partnership Grant project, I am working to support and enhance collective understanding of the unique aspects of adult Indigenous language learning in the national and diverse context of the land now known as Canada.
Dr. Peter Jacobs
Tiná7 tkwa Wiwiḵ’em ta Peter (Peter comes from a Squamish Nation village, Wiwiḵ’em, near Brackendale, B.C.). Galułi lax̱ Tsax̱is (he is also from the Kwaguł village of Tsax̱is, Fort Rupert, B.C.). His MA thesis was on subordinate clauses in the Sḵwx̱wu7mesh snichim (the Squamish language). His Ph.D. dissertation was on the syntax and semantics of agent control constructions in Sḵwx̱wu7mesh.
Peter worked for over 25 years at the Squamish Nation in language revitalization of the Sḵwx̱wu7mesh snichim, the language of his father’s side of his family. He also conducts research on Kwak’wala, the language of his mother’s side of his family. He taught at the University of Victoria before teaching at Simon Fraser University, where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics.
At the Squamish Nation, he was co-applicant for SSHRC Aboriginal Research grant. He was also the editor-in-chief for the Sḵwx̱wu7mesh Snichim-Xweliten Snichim Sḵexwts (Squamish-English Dictionary). At the University of Victoria, he was co-investigator on a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant with Dr. Onowa McIvor. They investigated adult language learners in the Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) and other MAP-like programs in B.C. He is currently co-principal investigator of NEȾOLṈEW̱ with Dr. McIvor, and he is excited to be investigating the role of adult Indigenous language learners alongside NEȾOLṈEW̱’s partners.