Claiming Spirituality, June 11-12, 2015

The workshop covered three key areas: Spirituality and Culture, Education and Language. Spirituality is often portrayed as a quest for meaning in life. Participants in the workshop developed an understanding of how indigenous communities affirm their spirituality as a natural part of their world view and philosophy. In a North American context, education is primarily about intellectual knowledge. In contrast, many indigenous communities, especially endangered language communities, are compelled to give young people adequate access to their traditions of meaning, identity and spirituality. Participants learned how to address the challenges of incorporating spirituality into an educational or language revitalization context. Human languages have a particularly unique attribute whereby they tend to embody, within their very structure, aspects of their world view and philosophy. Rather than focusing exclusively on grammatical systems, the workshop emphasized language as a living, symbolic system. The participants explored how language expresses and embodies spirituality as a communicative principal.

Instructor for the workshop was Phil Cash Cash. The workshop was held in the College of Education, University of Arizona, Tucson.