Canadian Studies Center September 2010 Report

 

September 2010 Report

Faculty News


The Center has sixty-five affiliated faculty representing sixteen departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, ten professional schools and all three UW campuses. Each quarter our faculty make marked contributions to Canadian Studies. Following are some of their activities and awards in Spring Quarter 2010.


Language preservation and use among First Nations children of the Cowichan tribe in British Columbia

By Brinda Jegatheesan

Dr. Jegatheesan is an educational anthropologist. She is multilingual in six languages. One of her main areas of scholarly work concerns multilingualism and socialization among immigrants and indigenous children in the United States. She has studied Qur’anic language learning among Muslim children with autism in the Midwest and is currently nearing completion of native language retention among East Asian children with autism in Seattle.

Helen Joe (7 years), Cowichan tribe child
Helen Joe (7 years), Cowichan tribe child

Using a naturalistic research design, this study examines the indigenous language learning experiences of the First Nations children from the Cowichan tribe in British Columbia. Participants in the study are young children ages 7–10 years old. The children are currently learning their indigenous language at home and in the community, supported by opportunities provided by their local tribal school and elders.

Data collection for this study consists of observations of everyday indigenous language use between caregiver and child at home and community. Child friendly interviews with the child examines children’s perceptions and feelings pertaining to learning and using their indigenous language. Interviews with the caregivers and elders in the community provides an in-depth understanding on their beliefs for the need for indigenous language preservation, the role these languages play in the lives of their younger and future Cowichan generation.

The above study will contribute to the strength of Canadian content in Dr. Jegatheesan’s ongoing research on ‘multilingual socialization and native language loss and retention’ among immigrant and indigenous children in the Pacific Northwest. Results from this study will also be used in Dr. Jegatheesan’s Language and Culture course in Winter 2011.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Program Enhancement Grant.


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Comparing US-Canada Border Regions

Anne Goodchild, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and graduate student Matthew Klein traveled to Canada this past summer, thanks to a Government of Canada Student Mobility grant. The grant funding helped support a comparative tour of two different border regions at the US-Canada border: Vancouver and the Cascades Gateway region, and the Toronto, Ontario, Detroit, and the Great Lakes region border crossings.

During the study tour, Professor Goodchild and Matt learned about some of the different organizational and physical structures of border and regional organizations. Their schedule was packed, and they met with engineers, business officials, faculty experts, and even had the pleasure of chatting with the Toronto police regarding their "suspicious activities!" (Said suspicious activities involved taking photos of interesting architecture around the city.)

Professor Goodchild and Matt also crossed the border in multiple locations and took public transit in order to better assess the border crossings and border regions. As part of their project, they have created a fascinating blog: Goods Movement Collaborative. They have plans to add to the blog, so be sure to bookmark it and check back frequently!

This project was supported by funding from a Student Mobility Grant, Government of Canada.


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