This Educator Guide will help you use the Indigenous Languages and Secret Path resource kit to position the story of Chanie Wenjack and Secret Path as a starting point for exploring Indigenous languages in Canada and around the world.
Indigenous Languages and Secret Path
Did you know that the United Nations declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages? What connections can we draw between Chanie Wenjack's experiences at residential school and the process of language revitalization today? Let's think about the importance of Indigenous languages and rights as we watch a clip from the Secret Path movie.
Finding a Secret Path: Mapping Activity
In Secret Path, Chanie Wenjack could not read the map that he took with him on his journey away from his residential school. How do you think he felt? Let's do our own mapping activity to reflect and discuss how language and language loss can affect how we find our place in the world.
Indigenous Languages in Canada: KWL Chart and Infographic Analysis
The residential school system interrupted the transmission of many Indigenous languages between generations, but many of these languages were able to survive and thrive. Let's explore how Indigenous peoples are continuing to strengthen and revitalize languages today.
Indigenous Languages: Worldviews and Revitalization
Why do Indigenous languages hold so much meaning for the people that speak them? Wahiakeron Gilbert and Diane Labelle from Kahnawake speak about the importance of Kanien'kehá:ka in their worldview, the effects that residential schooling had on the language, and the ways that people are teaching and learning the language today.
Research Activity: Indigenous Languages Here and Now
How much do you know about Indigenous languages in Canada? How about in your region or community? This activity asks you to research questions about Indigenous languages and create a visual representation (infographic or fact-sheet) to teach others what you learn.
Indigenous Languages Inquiry Project
What do you want to learn about Indigenous languages and language revitalization? What do you think other people should know? Take positive action and take control of your learning by choosing an inquiry question, planning your research, and creating a presentation to share what you learn with the people around you.
Annotated Bibliography: Indigenous Languages and Languages Revitalization
Reconciliation asks that teachers listen, learn, and grow with their students. This teacher handout offers a starting bibliography of Indigenous perspectives to help you continue past Secret Path and deepen your knowledge about Indigenous history, education, and languages in Canada. You may even want to share these resources with your learners!