Linguistic vitality in Manitoba: a survey of knowledge, use, and attitudes in the Ojibwa community of Poplar River First Nation

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Kesselman, Stephen
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This work seeks to describe the vitality of the Ojibwe language in Poplar River First Nation, MB and, by re-envisioning the framework and methodology for doing so, represent the perspectives and voices of the community. Using a survey tool designed along a model of linguistic health adapted from the UNESCO LVE factors, this project explores intergenerational patterns in abilities, as well as in attitudes and beliefs toward Ojibwe in the community. Consistent with a language under endangered status, Ojibwe speakers in Poplar River disproportionately favour older generations. However, despite near universal belief across all age groups in the value of the language and expressed interest in its preservation, a distinct generational pattern also emerges in the perception of others’ attitudes. As older respondents tend to believe younger people in the community do not value Ojibwe and lack interest in its preservation, intergenerational patterns in vitality extends to attitudes as well.
Language endangerment, Linguistic vitality, Language attitudes, Language survey