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Indigenous children’s linguistic rights in the 21st Century: Intentions and tensions in practice

Lee-Hammond, L.ORCID: 0000-0002-9699-7508 and Jackson-Barrett, E.ORCID: 0000-0002-3662-657X (2019) Indigenous children’s linguistic rights in the 21st Century: Intentions and tensions in practice. International Journal of Early Childhood, 51 . pp. 301-318.

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This paper presents a framework for what we consider are essential elements for realising the linguistic rights of Indigenous children in the twenty-first century. The global impacts of colonisation on various Indigenous communities have resulted in loss of cultural practices, knowledge and loss of languages. This framework points to ways forward for addressing Indigenous children’s rights to reclaim their languages in early childhood. The linguistic rights of Indigenous children are at the intersection of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in this, the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The enshrined rights of Indigenous children to an education in their own culture and language is a right yet to be realised in nations who are signatories to the Convention and the Declaration. Examples are presented of Indigenous language programmes in early childhood settings in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sápmi and the USA to highlight the significant roles of policy, Elders, communities, teacher education and the role of early childhood education in supporting children and families to reclaim endangered Indigenous languages.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Copyright: © 2019 Springer Nature B.V.
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