Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2212-8433
  • E-ISSN: 2212-8441
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This article outlines key developments internationally over the last 40 years in indigenous immersion education. Most notable here has been the establishment of community-based, bottom-up immersion programs, instigated by indigenous communities with the aim of maintaining or revitalizing their indigenous languages. As such, the article addresses a relative lacuna in immersion education literature, which has to date focused primarily on second- and foreign-language contexts. The article first provides a wider sociohistorical and sociopolitical context, focusing on key developments in international law, and in specific national contexts, which have facilitated the establishment of these indigenous immersion programs. The interrelationship between indigenous immersion educational policy and pedagogy is then explored, highlighting, in the process, the various challenges involved in developing, implementing, and maintaining effective indigenous immersion programs. Finally, international exemplars of indigenous education programs are discussed, including, Hawaiian, Navajo, and Cherokee programs in the U.S., and Māori-medium education in Aotearoa/New Zealand.


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