Disjuncture, modality, and institutional repertoire: (De)colonizing discourses at a tribal school.

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The complicated ideological terrain of a tribal school1 wrestles with aims of self-determination, academic success, and the legacy of settler colonial violence and theft through institutionalized schooling. One effect of these challenges is the ‘two-worlds’ approach to education for Indigenous students that categorizes linguistic and social practices as either ‘Indigenous’ or ‘modern’ (Lee, 2007, Wilson and Kamanā, 2009). Though this approach has long been recognized as problematic, it persists in Indigenous schooling contexts. This study employs a critical multimodal social semiotic (Kress, 2011a, Kress, 2011b) approach to language and sign to examine how school and community members invoke, reject, and reimagine ideologies from disparate cultural sources within a single event: one Ojibwe tribal school's kindergarten graduation ceremony. Contextualized with data from a larger ethnographic project, I extend Meek's (2011) work with disjunctures to call attention to the ‘institutional repertoires’ that shape the teaching and learning therein across multiple modes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalLinguistics and Education
Early online date30 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

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