Research Team

Dr. Kari A. B. Chew, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Kari A. B. Chew is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. She is a postdoctoral fellow with the NEȾOLṈEW̱ Partnership. Her scholarship focuses on the motivations and experiences of adult additional language learners who are reclaiming their Indigenous heritage languages. Her current research considers the role of technology in connecting learners who live outside their communities to their languages. She earned her doctorate in Language, Reading, and Culture from the University of Arizona in 2016.



Chew, K.A.B., Hicks, N. & Keliia, C. (2015). Claiming Space: An Autoethnographic Study of Indigenous Graduate Students Engaged in Language Reclamation. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 17(2), 73 -91.
Chew, K.A.B. (2015). Family at the Heart of Chickasaw Language Reclamation. The American Indian Quarterly 39(2), 154-179. Project MUSE,
McCarty, T.L., Nicholas, S.E., Chew, K.A.B., Diaz, N.G., Leonard, W.Y. & White, L.(2018). Hear Our Languages, Hear Our Voices: Storywork as Theory and Praxis in Indigenous-Language Reclamation. Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 147(2), 160 -17 2.
Chew, K., Keliiaa, Katie & Hicks, Nitana (2015 ). Studying Indigenous Heritage Languages at Universities: A Collaborative Autoethnography. 4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC).
Chew, K.A.B. & Anthony-Stevens (2017). Teaching from a Place of Hope in Indigenous Education. Anthropology News, 58(2), e265-e269.
Chew, K.A.B. (2019). Weaving Words: Conceptualizing Language Reclamation through a Culturally-Significant Metaphor. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 41(1)

Barbara Jenni, Project Manager

Barbara is of Swiss, German, and French heritage. She has lived in Switzerland, Guatemala, and Canada, and is a grateful settler in Lekwungen and SENĆOŦEN speaking territories. She is the Project Manager of the NEȾOLṈEW̱ Partnership, after having served as the coordinator of the preceding SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, also with co-leads Onowa McIvor and Peter Jacobs. Barbara also supported the coordination of Trish Rosborough’s SSHRC Insight Grant ‘Beautiful Words’ and Jean-Paul Restoule’s SSHRC Partnership Development and Insight Grants.

She holds an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Victoria, where she explored the relation between language revitalization and wellbeing and change in cognition, self-narrative, and wellbeing. Her PhD research (Educational Studies, UVIC) focuses on how the generation of academic knowledge relates to power.

Pierre Iachetti, Research Assistant

Pierre Iachetti is a Research Assistant with the NILLA project. Pierre is a PhD candidate in the Civil Engineering Department where he is a member of the Energy Systems & Sustainable Cities groupSustainable Systems Design Lab, and Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic). Pierre’s research focuses on culturally-grounded, net-zero buildings and renewable energy systems in on-reserve First Nations communities where he is currently working with the T’Sou-ke and ʔaq’am First Nations.

Pierre was born in Barbados, West Indies and is of Afro-Caribbean and Italian descent and has lived in Victoria for over half of his life and raised his family in Lekwungen and SENĆOŦEN speaking territories. Prior to returning to academia, Pierre spent over a decade in conservation biology having worked on landmark initiatives such as the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, Biodiversity BC, and the Muskwa-Kechika Conservation Area Design.

Nicki Benson, Research Assistant

Nicki is of Jewish ancestry and grew up on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories in Vancouver. In her career as a language teacher, researcher, and education consultant, she has continuously endeavoured to find creative ways to bring about social change through language education. Since 2013, her work has supported Indigenous language reclamation with organizations such as UNICEF Peru, the BC Ministry of Education, and Kwi Awt Stelmexw, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) language and culture.

Nicki has an M.A. in Language Education from the University of British Columbia, and she began a PhD in Indigenous Language Revitalization in 2018 at the University of Victoria under the supervision of Dr. Onowa McIvor. Through a case study with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Language Immersion Program, her doctoral research aims to determine success factors in adult immersion education for language reclamation. Nicki is the founder of Esperanza Education, the facilitator of the Spanish for Social Justice Teacher Network, the mamá of a brilliant two-year-old, and a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Adam Stone, Research Assistant

Adam Stone is a PhD student of Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a Research Assistant with the NILLA project, where his responsibilities have included informing NILLA map design through surveys of similar maps that exist elsewhere, and the production of supplementary language distribution maps. His main research interests include geolinguistics, supporting Indigenous language education, GIS cartography, and acoustic phonology, and he is currently also serving in other mapping projects focusing on Indigenous and minority languages in Kurdistan, Iran, and Canada. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, rock climbing, visiting new countries, and learning new languages.

Nicole Davies, Social Media Coordinator

Nicole Davies (Saulteaux Anishinaabe and Métis, she/her/they/them) currently manages the NEȾOLṈEW̱social media accounts. She started as a Research Assistant with our project while completing her Master’s degree in Indigenous governance at the University of Victoria, and she has since been awarded an Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change Fellowship with the David Suzuki Foundation. Her research and grassroots efforts are dedicated to Indigenous sustenance sovereignty, and she is a co-founder of the Indigenous Sustenance Reclamation Network.

Acknowledgement of previous team members

Many wonderful people have contributed to the work of NEȾOLṈEW̱over the years. They are (in alphabetical order of last name):
Adar Anisman, Carolyn Belleau, Emily Comeau, Samaya Jardey, Anureet Lotay, Layla chuutsqa Rorick, Robby Smoker-Peters, Danielle Sullivan.