Call for Abstracts: Endangered Languages Beyond Boundaries

Dear Barbara,

 Could you please forward the following call for papers to your distribution list? Those interested can also consult for more information about the Foundation for Endangered Languages and its past conferences.

Thank you,


Call for Abstracts: FEL XVII – Endangered Languages Beyond Boundaries: Ottawa, Canada, Oct 2013

The Seventeenth Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages in association with Carleton University: School of Canadian Studies and School of Linguistics and Language Studies Ottawa, Canada

Endangered Languages Beyond Boundaries:

Community Connections, Collaborative Approaches, and Cross-Disciplinary Research

Carleton University

Ottawa, Ontario


Dates: 1-4 October 2013

Call for Abstracts: FEL XVII

The 2013 FEL Conference will be held in Ottawa, the capital of Canada and headquarters of the country’s national Aboriginal organizations. The many endangered Indigenous languages across Canada make it an excellent setting for a conference that will explore collaboration, community involvement, and cross-disciplinary research on endangered languages. The conference will highlight community connections, collaborative approaches, intergenerational cooperation, technological and social media related innovations, and community-researcher alliances. We seek to bring together speakers, activists, and researchers, from a range of disciplines, organizations, and governments, all striving to understand and improve the situation of endangered languages, and to broaden awareness of the importance and implications of language maintenance and revitalization for individual and community well-being overall.

Efforts world-wide to preserve, maintain, and revitalize endangered languages often encounter limited resources and funding. This points to the need for collaborative approaches and for the pooling of resources, whether on a local, national, or international scale. Such cooperative ventures extend beyond the constraints of boundaries, whether these involve linguistic or ethnic identities; geography; jurisdictions; community size, type and location (urban, rural, isolated); political or social considerations; language status (official or unofficial, dominant or minority); familial and generational ties; academic disciplines; or institutional or group affiliations.

Such barriers, and the challenges they may pose, can raise significant issues for collaborative and community-centred approaches aimed at strengthening endangered languages. For example:

  • Where there are multiple dialects, should language support efforts be prioritized or focused on the more viable varieties of a particular endangered language or language group? Do endangered languages and their variants need a critical mass? Should efforts to support them lead to their coalescence despite these boundaries? On what basis should these decisions be made?  
  • What challenges (and compromises) are involved in decision-making related to language standardization? Should there be an effort to standardize across the dialects to establish one definitive version of a writing system?
  • What collaborative approaches, such as the sharing of existing language resources, curriculum development, knowledge transfer, training and best practices, can best aid communities with critically endangered languages or dialects (e.g. providing opportunities to individuals to learn a dialect even if it is not their own)? 
  • What types and models of collaborative research and communication can help communities to ensure that their language perspectives and goals are integrated? For example, strictly linguistic classifications of a community’s language may differ from those based on social considerations and political boundaries.  
  • To what extent can existing standardized frameworks of language assessment, such as UNESCO’s Language Vitality Endangerment (LVE) Framework and Fishman’s Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (GIDS), help to yield comparable data? How can community-defined factors and aspects of a given community unique to it be integrated into these frameworks?
  • How can surveys and data be used to develop measures and indicators in the assessment of language vitality?
  • In contrast to isolated communities, the situation can be exacerbated in urban environments by the prevalence of the dominant language. How can urban language revitalization efforts be enhanced? How can people play a major role in the mainstream culture without sacrificing their endangered language and culture?
  • How can people in the dominant culture and their governments be made aware of and sensitive to the issues of endangered languages?
  • How can endangered language practitioners take advantage of technology to increase awareness among the mainstream about endangered languages? How can technology be used to teach and increase the use of endangered languages?
  • How can generations support each other in strengthening their endangered languages? How can Elders, adults, and youth work together to develop terminology in new domains, such as technology and social media, that existing vocabulary may not cover?
  • What is the importance of language learning and revitalization for individual and community well-being, health and educational outcomes?

Abstracts are invited on the following, though not limited to, kinds of topics:

  • Connections within, between and among endangered language communities

(Shared or different language varieties, status, identities, geography, locations)

  • Connections within or between families and generations
  • Collaborative approaches between communities and:

o   language and cultural organizations;

o   university-based researchers; and,

o   schools, other organizations and governments

  • Collaborative approaches through technology and new media
  • Cross-Disciplinary (inter- and multi-disciplinary) research related to endangered languages
  • International approaches to language training and revitalization


Presentations will be twenty minutes, with ten minutes for discussion and questions and answers. Keynote lectures (by invitation only) will be forty-five minutes each.

Abstract submission:

Single page abstracts of a maximum of 500 words should be submitted by the 22nd of April 2013.

Abstracts received after this deadline will not be accepted.

Abstracts are to be submitted for consideration in either English or French.

Once accepted, full papers can be submitted in either English or French.

If you are using special (language) fonts in your abstract submission, please make sure that they are Unicode or encoded in your pdf.

In addition to the abstract, on a separate page, please include the following information:

NAME(S): Names of the author(s)

TITLE: Title of the paper

INSTITUTION: Institutional affiliation, if any

E-MAIL: E-mail address of first author, if any

ADDRESS: Postal address of the first author

TEL: Telephone number of the first author, if any

FAX: Fax number of the first author, if any.

For submission of abstracts three methods are possible, as below:

1. EasyChair:

Authors will have to take the following steps:

– go to

– if you already have an EasyChair account you can just enter your user

name and password and log in.

– if you don’t have an account, you will be redirected, or click on the link here, Follow the instructions and log in;

– click on ‘new submission’ and follow the instructions.

Type or paste your title and abstract into “Title, Abstract and Other Information” in plain text.  You may also submit your abstract as a pdf file, in which case you type “see attached file” in the abstract textbox.

We shall publish more guidelines for the submission process on

If you experience a problem with EasyChair please email for assistance at

2. E-Mail:

In case you are not able to submit your abstract via EasyChair, please send your abstract with the subject of the e-mail stating: FEL Abstract: <last name of the author(s)> : <title of paper (with the other necessary details) via e-mail to the following address:

3. Post:

Finally, in case you are not able to submit your abstract via EasyChair or e-mail, please send your abstract and details on paper to the following address (to arrive by 22nd April, 2013):

FEL XVII Conference Administration

Foundation for Endangered Languages

172 Bailbrook Lane

Bath BA1 7AA

United Kingdom

The name of the first author will be used in all correspondence. Submitters will be informed about their abstracts by May 15th, 2013. Those whose abstracts are accepted will be required to submit their full papers for publication in the Proceedings by July 8th, 2013, together with their registration fee (to be announced soon).

Important Dates

  • Abstract arrival deadline: April 22nd, 2013.
  • Notification of acceptance of paper: May 15th, 2013.
  • In case of acceptance, the full paper will be due by July 8th, 2013. It is a condition of speaking at the conference that authors will submit a hard copy of their paper by this deadline. (Further details on the format of text will be specified to the authors.)
  • Conference dates: October 1-4, 2013

Possible conference excursions and activities (to be announced) include:  a pre-conference language-relevant excursion planned for the day, Tuesday, October 1st (visit to Aboriginal community – to be confirmed); reception Tuesday evening October 1st; banquet Thursday October 3rd; and possible post-conference two-day weekend trip October 5th and 6th.

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Endangered Languages Beyond Boundaries


The Seventeenth Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages
will take place at Carleton University this Fall.
Dates: Oct 1-4, 2013.
The theme for this year is: Endangered Languages Beyond Boundaries:
Community Connections, Collaborative Approaches, and Cross-Disciplinary Research

See the call for papers at:

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New issue of AlterNative now available

The first issue for 2013 of AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples is now available online and in print. Papers in Volume 9(1) come from the Arctic Circle, to Africa, Japan, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Two of the articles centre on indigenous education. Ylva Jannok Nutti considers Sámi teachers’ experiences in Sweden in teaching of mathematics and the necessity for lessons to be taught from the perspective of the local culture – despite the fact that culturally based teaching is not specifically defined. Teachers must adapt as to how and what they teach. The second article by Lone Elizabeth Ketsitlile, Philip Bulawa and Onalenna Tiny Kgathi seeks to understand why appropriate and relevant research methods are crucial when undertaking literary research among Southern Africa’s first indigenous peoples – the San of Botswana. The authors consider and develop an argument articulating the need to include a specific Southern African philosophy (Botho, also known as Ubuntu) as a theoretical framework.

Olivia Guntarik’s article “Dangerous Historiographies: Minoru Hokari’s observations and lived Aboriginal practices of history” considers Australian Aboriginal notions of historiography (the methodology and development of history) which challenge existing and accepted understandings and interpretations of societies’ and cultures’ histories. Alternative interpretations (and solutions) to conventional history are often binarized as minority or oppositional groups and simply accommodated in what continues to be the dominant story.

Rāpata Wiri adds to the growing body of academic work considering New Zealand’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement through the lens of the controversial “Treelords Deal” and the application of mana whenua or Māori custom law. The article looks at the claims made for Central North Island forestry and how certain large iwi misinterpret mana whenua for their own commercial gain at the expense of smaller but significant land-owning iwi in the region.

Canada’s federal and provincial systems of government have been strongly influenced by the nation’s Aboriginal peoples. Or have they? David MacDonald argues any such influences have been largely accidental, and a concerted critique of some conventional study highlights a glossing over of Aboriginal-settler history rather that a detailed engagement with it. Among other things, he advocates the incorporation of Aboriginal notions and concepts of power, justice and decision-making into existing institutions and potential new institutions.

Hiroshi Maruyama examines an ambitious dam project on the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the impact on the local indigenous people, the Ainu. Legislation gives priority to river development yet existing indigenous legislation and policy has yet to take firm steps towards the protection of Ainu indigenous rights. Maruyama’s paper considers the legal system surrounding river development in light of the conservation of Ainu culture and the environment.

The final article “Songlines and touchstones: A study of perinatal health and culture in Greenland” by Ruth Montgomery-Andersen and Ina K. Borup explores how family and community perceive support-giving during the perinatal period. In particular, it focuses on story-telling as a health promotion tool through an ethnographic approach. Content analysis, interviews and dialogues are used to set the stories into a cultural perspective.

Please visit to access the content.

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Reading Revolution — Aaron Paquette

A Facebook post from Aaron Paquette (of #Ottawapiskat fame). A message we can all endorse:
Let’s make this the start of something incredible. Join me in a revolution.
What do you get out of it?
The world, chico. And everything in it. This is a commitment that will change your life for the better, forever.

Here’s how it works:
Read one book a week. Without fail.
To understand a thing, read five diverse books on the topic.
Read every day.
Read to your children.
Read to your friends.
Read to your elders.
Share what you’ve read.
Write about it.
And write your own book.

Join the #ReadingRevolution
Education is what gives you ideas. Ideas are what transform the world.
So what do you say? Will you make the commitment?

hay hay,

Aaron Paquette
March 4, 2013

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Education Consultation underway now in Saskatoon


My friend Nancy Greyeyes sent this photo from Saskatoon, where this “consultation” is now underway. As she observes, “Consultation with whom?”


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Breath of Life Archival Institute for North American Indigenous Languages

Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages
Washington, DC, June 10-21, 2013

Call for applications: Application Deadline: March 1, 2013

We invite Native Americans and First Nations people who are learning and revitalizing their languages, and graduate students, faculty and other scholars who specialize in Linguistics (preferably in Native American or First Nations languages) to apply to participate in the Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages (BoL). BoL is designed to promote active collaboration among people with a wide range of perspectives about language and culture, including technical linguistic knowledge and cultural expertise. Participants will be grouped into research teams, based on language, made up of linguists and Native community language researchers. Team members will actively work together, mentor one another, and share their expertise throughout the program and beyond. The research teams will explore archives and museum collections at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution, with morning workshops on linguistics, language teaching and learning, archival research and language revitalization held at the National Museum of the American Indian. The two weeks of study will culminate in a research project and presentation that uses archival or museum resources for linguistic research or language teaching. Beyond a general commitment to language learning from archival sources, participants must be willing and able to attend and actively participate in the entire Institute. Aside from truly unforeseen circumstances, it will not be possible to arrive late, leave early, or to skip the required workshops and events (though some workshops will be optional). Participants will stay in the dorms at George Washington University, where they can network and study together in the evenings. BoL will pay for participants’ rooms, and partially subsidize food and travel. BoL will accept 60 participants. This is a great opportunity to find and use archival materials to reclaim, learn, and teach indigenous languages, in the company of other like-minded people. To find out more and to fill out an application please visit:

The 2013 Breath of Life Institute is funded by the Documenting Endangered Languages Program of the National Science Foundation. Partners include the National Museum of Natural History, The National Museum of the American Indian, the Library of Congress, The Endangered Language Fund and Yale University. Also, like Breath of Life on Facebook,

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CILLDI 2013 poster

Follow links below for course/program and bursary information:

CILLDI 2013 Official Information Letter

2013 CILLDI Bursary Application

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