This research project is related to my on-going work in Nisga’a language revitalization, educational governance, and policy. The Nisga’a language is the language of my ancestors and like most Indigenous languages in the world, it is considered critically endangered with approximately 5% Nisga’a people who are fluent speakers. Significant efforts to revitalize the Nisga’a language have been underway way for over forty years by our Elders (Nisga’a Lisms Government, 2018) who continue to speak our language at community events and feasts, and by community leaders who have worked tirelessly to not only document and archive the language but also develop teaching resources, curriculum, and a Nisga’a bi-lingual and bicultural education program for the Nisga’a school district (Barman, 1999; Morven, 1996; Nisga’a School District, 2018; Nisga’a Tribal Council, 1995a, 1995b, 1995c; Williams, 2006). However, there remains a great need to compile and analyze all this information so that the history of the Nisga’a language and revitalization efforts are recorded for future generations of Nisga’a citizens, educators, and researchers.
This project is the first educational study to be conducted on Nisga’a language revitalization and will have significant cultural outcomes by providing research to support the Nisga’a Lisims government with strategic planning for Nisga’a language-related initiatives, language-based policies, and community language revitalization needs. Support has been provided from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant.