“This paper discusses the contribution of school-based mother-tongue literacy to the maintenance and renewal of endangered languages, with Navajo as the case in point. Although Navajo claims the most speakers among U.S. indigenous languages, the absolute number and relative proportion of Navajo speakers have declined drastically in the last 30 years. Language usage varies across the Navajo Reservation, depending on individual community histories and contact with English. English dominates the print environment, although other forces reinforce the primacy of oral Navajo.
“This paper describes a U. S. Department of Education Title VII funded language preservation program at Leupp Public School in the Navajo Nation. Funded in 1997 for five years, this school-wide project is designed to help students become proficient speakers, readers, and writers of Navajo while enhancing their English language skills and preparing them to meet state academic standards. The program com-bines Navajo immersion with ESL inclusion, literacy initiatives, sheltered English/Navajo, parental involvement, and take-home technology.
“Aimed at "empowering" teachers and students in a culturally diverse society, this book suggests that schools must respect student's language and culture, encourage community participation, promote critical literacy, and institute forms of assessment in order to reverse patterns of under-achievement in pupils from varying cultures. The book shows that students who have been failed by schools predominantly come from communities whose languages, cultures and identities have been distorted and devalued in the wider society, and schools have reinforced this pattern of disempowerment.”
“This paper discusses the role of research and theory regarding language and literacy acquisition in planning for bilingual programmes involving lesser used languages. Three psycho‐educational principles are outlined: the additive bilingual enrichment principle, the interdependence principle and the sufficient communicative interaction principle. The role of these principles in the educational language planning process is discussed in the context of a procedural framework for problem‐solving in educational contexts.”
"Economic development is believed critical to improving quality of life in the Innu communities of Sheshatshiu and Utshimassit, where substance abuse, low literacy rates, and living conditions far below national standards persist. The establishment of Innu Development Limited Partnership in 1998 was a decisive move by the Innu to generate business ventures. An impact benefit agreement associated with the Voisey Bay mine project and compensation from a land claim settlement will result in needed resources and business opportunities for the Innu.