Research Team

Tehota’kerá:ton, Dr. Jeremy D. Green, Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2022)

Tehota’kerá:ton, Dr. Jeremy D. Green is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk), wolf clan and from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. His scholarship focuses on language acquisition planning and the role of assessment and evaluation for proficiency development of second language (L2) learners of Indigenous languages. Most recently, he collaborated with diverse stakeholders to design a language and culture mentorship program to help adult Mohawk L2 learners increase their speaking proficiency from the Advanced to the Superior and Distinguished levels. Importantly, to guide learning and create culturally relevant assessment and evaluation tools, this work identified descriptors of Superior and Distinguished level performances specific to the language and culture context within which the language is learned and used.

Tehota’kerá:ton earned his Doctorate in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo in 2020. His dissertation collected, organized and presented a wide variety of language teaching and learning methods deemed effective for the Mohawk language for ease of use by Mohawk language teachers.

Dr. Kari A. B. Chew, Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2020)

Dr. Kari A. B. Chew is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. 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 also is a co-investigator on the SSHRC Connection Grant project “Exploring Innovative and Successful Adult Language Learning Methods in Canadian and US Indigenous Communities” (2018-2021).

Dr. Chew earned her Doctorate in Language, Reading, and Culture from the University of Arizona in 2016.


Chew, K.A.B. , Anthony-Stevens, V., LeClair-Diaz, A., Nicholas, S.E., Sobotta, A. & Stevens, P. (2019). Enacting Indigenous Language and Cultural Reclamation across Geographies and Positionalities. Transmotion, 5(1), 132-151.
Chew, K.A.B. (2019). Weaving Words: Conceptualizing Language Reclamation through a Culturally-Significant Metaphor. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 41(1).
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.A.B. & Anthony-Stevens, V. (2017). Teaching from a Place of Hope in Indigenous Education. Anthropology News, 58(2). e265-e269.
Chew, K.A.B. (2015). Family at the Heart of Chickasaw Language Reclamation. The American Indian Quarterly, 39(2), 154-179.
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., Keliiaa, K. & Hicks, N. (2015, March). Studying Indigenous Heritage Languages at Universities: A Collaborative Autoethnography. Paper presented at the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC).

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 on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ 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.

Nicki Benson, Research Assistant

Nicki is of Jewish ancestry and grew up on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territories in Vancouver. She has an M.A. in Language Education from the University of British Columbia and has been working in language education for 15 years as a teacher, researcher, and education consultant. Since 2013, Nicki has supported Indigenous language revitalization initiatives with organizations such as UNICEF Peru, the BC Ministry of Education, and Kwi Awt Stelmexw.

Nicki is a PhD student in Indigenous Language Revitalization under the supervision of Dr. Onowa McIvor. Her doctoral research will explore success factors in adult immersion education for language reclamation through a case study with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Language Immersion Program. Nicki is the founder of Esperanza Education, the facilitator of the Spanish for Social Justice Teacher Network, and the mamá of a bilingual two-year-old.

Robyn Giffen, Research Assistant

Robyn Giffen is of German and English ancestry and grew up on Treaty 7 land in Calgary, AB. She spent most of her adult life in Kelowna, BC, living, studying, and working on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Sylix and Secwepemc people. She now lives as grateful settler on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen peoples.

As a NEȾOLṈEW̱ research assistant, Robyn currently contributes to the NILLA project. She has an M.A. from the University of British Columbia specializing in Linguistic Anthropology and has worked on Indigenous language revitalization projects in Ghana, Alaska, and Vancouver, BC. Robyn is now a PhD student in Education at UVIC, focusing on Indigenous Language Revitalization. Her research project will analyze and evaluate the Where Are Your Keys (WAYK) teaching and learning method.

Zola Kell, Research Assistant

Zola Kell is a white Settler living on the unceded territories of the Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ people. She holds an M.A. in Germanic Studies from the University of Victoria, with a focus on translation. As an editor, grants crafter, and visual artist, Zola has been fortunate enough to work in a variety of support roles for a number of Indigenous language revitalization initiatives. Her main scholastic interests include the dynamic space of translation, collaborative strategies, and language curriculum development. As a NEȾOLṈEW̱ research assistant, Zola will be working closely with NEȾOLṈEW̱ co-investigator Edōsdi.

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.

Acknowledgement of previous team members

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