Voices From Here

Using the circle discussion strategy, open a discussion about Jacey Firth-Hagen’s interview. Teachers are encouraged to create and select questions appropriate for their classroom, but possible questions include: 1. Does anything require clarification? 2. What does Jacey Firth-Hagen say about the state of the Dinjii Zhuh language, Dinjii Zhuh Ginjik, also known as Gwich’in? What were some of the ways Dinjii Zhuh Ginjik was supressed? 3. Why are language keepers, like Jacey Firth-Hagen’s grandmother, so important to language revitalization and Indigenous knowledge transmission? 4. How is social media a good way to learn and teach language? Is this something you have tried? What are other ways Elders have encouraged Jacey Firth-Hagen to learn her language? 5. Jacey Firth-Hagen opens her interview with a story that has been passed down from generation to generation. How do you think Dinjii Zhuh knowledge transmission has been affected by language loss? How do you think things get lost in translation? 6. Is #SpeakGwichintoMe an example of Dinjii Zhuh resilience and resurgence? Why or why not? 7. What else in her interview stood out to you? PART II: CIRCLE DISCUSSION Jacey Firth-Hagen talks about her social media language revitalization initiative, #SpeakGwichintoMe. Ask students to work in small groups to conduct an online search for Indigenous language revitalization efforts (e.g., Word of the Day Twitter accounts, podcasts, hashtag campaigns, Instagram pages, meme makers, TikTok users, people who teach on YouTube, online dictionaries, or Indigenous language smartphone applications). Ask students to create a short presentation about the campaign or app, including why it was created, and who it is intended for. Include contextual information about the language and who speaks it, that Nation’s history, and the traditional territory of the language. Have students share with the class a couple of words or phrases they learned. Ask students to consider how the campaign or app is similar or different to what Jacey Firth-Hagen shared, and have them think about accessibility and other strategies to promote the program. Have them conclude by assessing the role of new media and technology in language preservation and revitalization. PART III: EXPLORING SOCIAL MEDIA AND INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION MODIFICATION: Have students share their work informally. Consider partnering students with other first-language peers (or other language learners) and give them the option to give their presentation in the way they feel most comfortable. JACEY WITH HER GRANDMOTHER, COURTESY OF JACEY FIRTH-HAGEN. EXTENSION ACTIVITY: As part of the daily morning announcements (perhaps along with a Land Acknowledgement), introduce a new word from a local Indigenous language each day. STILL FROM JACEY FIRTH-HAGEN VIDEO (HISTORICA CANADA). 17