Keynote Speakers & Conference Grandparents

Keynote Speakers

Emiliana Cruz

Emiliana Cruz was born in Cieneguilla, San Juan Quiahije, Oaxaca, Mexico. She is a linguistic anthropologist and a Professor-Researcher at CIESAS-CDMX. Her trajectories of research are diverse and interdisciplinary, emphasizing education, linguistic rights, territory, documentation and linguistic revitalization. She has received the Distinguished Community Engagement Award from the University of Massachusetts for her Chatino Language Documentation Project. Cruz’ extensive experience with community collaboration is the mark of her work. She is a founding member of the collective “Dialogues between Indigenous Academics,” which does what/ Her more recent publications include “evitemos que nuestro futuro se nos escape de las manos: tomás cruz lorenzo y la nueva generación chatina,” a product of collaboration amongst Chatinos.

Eastern Chatino Language Documentation: A Collaborative Approach

Abstract. In the last decade, Chatino speakers from San Juan Quiahije, Oaxaca México have been aware of, and concerned about, the loss of their indigenous language. Many of them have become local linguists in order to document and revitalize their language. I this presentation I will discuss about some of the linguistic projects that we carry out with the elders in San Juan Quiahije, including: language documentation training, teaching children to love their language, and hiking with elders to document specialized vocabulary related to the local landscape. I will discuss in detail one hike with an elder, and the language documentation activities that took place during the hike.

Marja-Kristin Skum

Marja-Kristin Skum

My name is Marja-Kristin Skum. I come from a family of North Sami reindeer herders that were forcible dislocated by the Swedish government to the southern parts of Saepmie (or Sami land) during the 1920 – 1930s. I am currently finishing my PhD in socio-linguistics were I investigate the language choices this group of dislocated people made when arriving to their new home. Through intergenerational stories it is possible to further understand how the traumatic dislocation impacted on the north Sami language situation in this specific area and within the reindeer herding population.

I have worked as an associated professor at the Sami University of Applied Sciences since 2012 where I have primarily taught Sami language for new beginners through a model inspired by the so called «language bath»-model.

I have a Master’s Degree in socio-linguistics.

My family works with reindeer so I also take part in the family business.

How to heal historical traumas through language revitalisation – investigating stories of language choice amongst Samis

The language choice of my father has puzzled me all my life. He choose to speak Swedish with me and my brother even though his first language was Sami. In this session I will, through my personal story, investigate revitalisation of indigenous languages by discussing historical trauma and healing. I will also give hands on tips on how we work with language (and cultural) revitalisation at the Sami University of Applied Sciences. By discussing examples from my ongoing PhD study in socio-linguistics I will show what kind of processes impact and give room for the reluctance to start speaking Sami again and why this seems to be such a difficult task for the ones trying to learn the language of their people.

Te-Hiku Media

Papa Reo – Enabling a sovereign digital future for indigenous languages

Keoni Mahelona
Peter Lucas-Jones

Papa Reo ( is a multilingual language platform grounded in indigenous knowledge and ways of thinking and powered by cutting edge data science. We will present on the Papa Reo project highlighting the importance of sovereignty over data, platforms, and technologies. We will also cover our latest tools such as a real time, on device te reo Māori pronunciaiton App which aims to decolonise the sound of te reo Māori. Papa Reo is led by Te Reo Irirangi o Te Hiku o Te Ika (Te Hiku Media), a charitable media organisation, collectively belonging to the Far North iwi of Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Te Rārawa and Ngāti Kahu.  Te Hiku Media is an iwi communications hub for iwi radio, online TV and media services. Māori language revitalisation is a core focus of Te Hiku Media, and the organizations’ vision and mission was confirmed by a meeting of kaumātua and kuia (elders), and other native speakers of Te Reo Māori at Mahimaru Marae.

Conference Grandparents

Larry Kimura

Larry Kimura

Larry Kimura is a professor of Hawaiian language and Hawaiian studies at the Univesrity of Hawaii, Hilo. Kimura has been working for decades as one of the leaders of language revitalization in Hawaii, beginning with the development of core educational programs and co-founding ‘Aha Pūnana Leo, the first Hawaiian medium pre-schools in the early 1980s. His work has also included extensive audio documentation of Hawaiian speakers, and he currently serves as chair of the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee. He has previously served as secretary general of the Polynesian Languages Forum and Hawaiian culture planner and interpreter for the ‘Imaloa Astronomy Center.

Dr. Wanosts’a7 Lorna Williams

Lorna Williams

Dr. Wanosts’a7 Lorna Williams OBC walking in peace is Lil’wat of the St’at’yem’c First Nation. Her life has been devoted to promoting and restoring Indigenous culture and language. She worked as an Indigenous educator and language specialist for more than 50 years in diverse settings, including Indigenous communities, public schools, and adult education settings. Dr. Williams recently retired from the University of Victoria as Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Learning (co-appointment with Faculty of Education and Department of Linguistics) and an associate professor, where she developed and delivered an innovative series of courses on learning and teaching in an Indigenous world. In 2020, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in honour of her contributions to Indigenous education and language revitalization.