Adult Learners

Growing the Fire Within

by Kari A. B. Chew, Jacob Manatowa-Bailey, Megan Lukaniec, Onowa McIvor, and Mary Linn

Indigenous communities and organizations are working to reclaim and revitalize their languages. Indigenous adult language learners, who did not grow up speaking their ancestral tongues, are critical to these efforts. These adults may run language revitalization programs, teach the language in school- and community-settings, and use the language at home with their children. While few would dispute the necessity of supporting Indigenous adult language learners, it is not always clear how best to do this. Additional language learning (ALL) models for Indigenous adults vary widely in terms of approach and results across Indigenous communities in Canada and the US.

I worked with Jacob Manatowa-Bailey, Megan Lukaniec, Onowa McIvor, and Mary Linn to organize a gathering of leading scholars and practitioners. Our collective vision for supporting and strengthening Indigenous adult ALL is shared through a short film and report below.

Growing the Fire Within Short Film

Growing the Fire Within Report

For more information about adult Indigenous language methods and programs represented at the gathering, visit:
If you are seeking training to support your language revitalization work, visit: