Kari Chew

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Arizona, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9497

Approve Date

September 29, 2017

Project Title

Chew, Dr. Kari Ann Burris, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research and writing on 'We Will Always Speak Chickasaw: Considering the Vitality and Efficacy of Chickasaw Language Reclamation' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Seeking to understand what motivates Chickasaws–across generations and geographic spaces–to engage in language reclamation, my research explores how: 1. young adults with established careers at the tribal language program have made language a life’s pursuit; 2. adults residing outside of the Chickasaw Nation engage in language reclamation, and 3. the study of Chikashshanompa’ in school has impacted youths’ conceptualizations of their personal and social identities. Together, the perspectives of these groups comprise a case study of Chickasaw people’s resilient efforts to ensure that Chikashshanompa’ ilanompoho__li b’yyi’ka’chi [we will always speak Chickasaw]. The stories of language learners and teachers reflected three key themes enabling the vitality and efficacy of Chickasaw language reclamation: 1. a raised critical Chickasaw consciousness, 2. the conception of Chikashshanompa’ as cultural practice, and 3. the (re)valuing of language learners. During my fellowship I will complete two journal articles and one book chapter focused on the use of cultural metaphor to present and interpret research findings, the implications of utilizing a culturally-grounded methodology to conduct ethical and meaningful research in Indigenous contexts, and what it means to enact Indigenous language education from a place of hope for sustaining language and cultural practice for generations to come.