Purpose of NILLA
NILLA is an online, interactive portal that will provide virtual space for Indigenous communities, advocates, researchers, and allies to engage and exchange knowledge, and to share their own and learn about others’ successful language learning strategies within Canada. The NILLA portal vision transfers the Indigenous Language Revitalization (ILR) spirit of connecting, exchanging, and engaging to the virtual realm, and rather than relying solely on conference and language gathering opportunities offers a space for communities to connect without the human time cost or expense of travel.
Supporting Indigenous Language Revitalization & Maintenance
Through NILLA, Indigenous communities can share and find information both publicly and privately (secured access), supporting each other to reach their ILR goals. The core aim and original intention of NILLA is to assist Indigenous communities to share successes in the creation of new speakers, and thereby connect with others doing similar or work that communities aspire towards, learning from each other’s best practices. It is our strong belief that NILLA can assist with reducing barriers to accelerate Indigenous language learner creation by creating a space for communities and individuals to share successes and best practices, virtually and perhaps later in person, once connections have been made.
What NILLA is not
NILLA can not be instead of direct relationship building and personal connections within and beyond the ILR movement, but must be side by side.
Knowledge Sharing through NILLA
While multi-media tools and online resources are increasing as learning and teaching strategies in ILR, establishing a nation-wide sharing portal for communities focused on continuing their languages is a spearheading endeavour. Colonial exploitation and appropriation of Indigenous-owned heritage and resources have resulted in hesitancy within Indigenous communities to share their knowledge freely and openly. The NILLA project takes on a leadership role in developing reliable mechanisms to ensure community ownership over data and knowledge shared through an online portal.
NILLA is committed to community ownership over information while facilitating knowledge sharing, and so NILLA features two levels of access:
- Public: open to anyone interested in the language revitalization initiatives taking place across Canada. Public information includes language names, number of speakers, types of programs offered, and similar general data.
- Password-protected: only accessible to contributing and registered Partner communities via login. The protected space will facilitate information sharing and networking between participating communities, who have full control over what items they wish to share (for example curricula samples or language resources).