Adult Indigenous contributions to reviving languages in BC
through Mentor-Apprentice style learning
About this work
During a 3-year community-university research collaboration,the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board / Saanich Adult Education Centre (W̲SB) and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), jointly with our UVIC team led by Dr. Onowa McIvor and Dr. Peter Jacobs, studied adult Indigenous language learning in British Columbia through the popular Mentor-Apprentice Program (MAP) method.
The W̲SB and FPCC are leaders with considerable expertise and experience in Indigenous language revitalization, and in particular with adult language learning through Mentor-Apprentice style programming.
Within the MAP approach, adult language learners (known as apprentices) and proficient speakers (known as mentors) create their own oral language-immersive context through daily activities, cultural practices, and community involvement. The method directs spending 10–20 hours a week in one-on-one language immersion over a two to three year period.
The research project aimed to document the successes and challenges of MAP in the BC context. Over a three-year period, we interviewed over 60 participants, including current and past apprentices, current and past language mentors, and administrators in both partner organizations. We are pleased to share our findings with you now.