I love how David keeps going back to the empowerment of a child with the words “you are intelligent”. Self esteem is a huge issue especially for preteens/teenagers. Focusing on building up their self esteem and confidence, seems to be vital to reaching them and helping them reach the goal of thinking through myriad of topics.
Hearing Grandma Salina’s first hand account of her people’s Tlingit language being banned where they had spoken it for thousands of years in Angoon, struck a chord. I have heard and read about missionaries banning the use of native languages before, but never have I heard the quiver in someone who has lived the trauma. Thankfully, the Tlingit language survived through that period through Elders like Grandma Salina. It is uplifting and inspiring to hear of her activities in the schools, and the joy and relief that young children are speaking the Tlingit language. As a future English teacher, I hope to keep reminding students that English is only 500 odd years old compared to the 10,000 years of Tlingit. At the very least, the names of the people and places should be studied in Tlingit and used in the classroom.
Linda Belarde also gave a nice quick Tlingit lesson of how to properly pronounce “Tlingit”and “Gunalchéesh”. It is a goal of mine to eventually have an Elder compliment my pronunciation and not wince of the butchering of their language. The more of the Tlingit language and stories that I can bring to an English classroom that connects a student to an intimate understanding of language the better. Gunalchéesh ho ho!