Jordan Philip Henry Wilson
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York U.
Grant numberGr. 10166
Approve DateApril 8, 2021
Project TitleWilson, Jordan (New York U.) "The politics of language revitalization in the settler colonial present"
This project is focused on understanding the Musqueam nation’s historical and contemporary relationship with our language, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, and how this relationship has been shaped by processes of settler colonialism. In general, my project asks, why is the revitalization of Indigenous languages important? What effects does language revitalization have for Indigenous communities who pursue it? My specific guiding research questions are: 1) What are the legacies of anthropological and linguistic activity as it pertains to the documentation and archiving of hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and in what ways is the community responding to this history today? 2) What are the challenges – both internal and external to the Musqueam community – of Indigenous language revitalization in the context of the Canadian settler state? 3) What is the nature of the relationship between our language, notions of sovereignty, and understandings of land – specifically in terms of current discourses of decolonization, reconciliation, and recognition of territory? I argue that language is a valuable lens for understanding contemporary Indigenous political issues and processes, and by paying attention to one Indigenous nation’s language revitalization efforts, greater insights can be gained into the ongoing processes of settler colonialism, and the current work towards navigating, resisting or refusing them.