Indigenizing the Japanese Language Curriculum: Lessons and Perspectives from Indigenous Voices

What: Workshop: Indigenizing the Japanese Language Curriculum: Lessons and Perspectives from Indigenous Voices
Location: Online via Zoom
When: Friday, October 14 from 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m (PDT)

Many foreign language instructors are undertaking the important work of indigenizing the language learning curriculum, and are looking for theoretical frameworks and real-life examples of how Indigenization can be applied in our field. This workshop will borrow the case of the Ainu, the Indigenous peoples of Japan, as the example for indigenizing a foreign language course of study, but teachers of any foreign languages related to colonized peoples will benefit from the discussions of theory, pedagogy, and practical applications. The workshop will be conducted in English with translation provided where necessary. The first half of the workshop will address theoretical questions regarding Indigenization, Decolonization and the particular case of the Ainu. The second half will focus on hearing the experience and methodologies of instructors involved in teaching Indigenous languages both within formal academic institutions and in community settings.


12:30 Welcome

12:45  What does it Mean to be Ainu in the 21st Century?

Dr. Kanako Uzawa, Artist, Activist and Affiliated Researcher at Hokkaido University

1:15  What Does it Mean to “Indigenize” the Curriculum?

 1:45  What Does it Mean to “Decolonize” the Language-Learning Curriculum?

Dr. Ryuko Kubota, Professor, University of British Columbia Vancouver

Group discussions of speaker-suggested and related questions

3:15  Syilx Language House Model

Dr. Michele Johnson, Executive Director, and Instructor, Okanagan College,

3:40  Sito Channel, Nibutani Ainu Language School and Te Ataarangi Model

Ms. Maya Sekine and Mr. Kenji Sekine

4:05   Other Indigenous Language Models – Mayan

Dr. Monica Good, University of British Columbia Okanagan

4:30  Demonstration of Sample Open Educational Resource

Ms. Nina Langton, University of British Columbia Okanagan

4:40  Group discussions about potential lesson plans, learning objects, applications of the theory and models

The workshop is free and open to all secondary and post-secondary foreign language instructors, but registration is required.

Register now

The workshop is generously supported by the Japan Foundation Toronto, the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, and the Department of Languages and World Literatures.

Please contact Nina Langton at for more information.