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Heather Burge

PhD Candidate


Faculty of Arts

Research Themes: 

Language, Sustainability and Transnationalism

My work focuses on how equitable research is engaged in and maintained with indigenous language revitalization being the ultimate goal.

As academic institutions and disciplines such as anthropology and linguistics address their individual and collective involvement in colonialism, and as indigenous communities work to reverse heritage language lose, what then can collaborative and ethical research look like, and who will benefit? This work looks specifically at language revitalization program building in the Lingít (Tlingit) language learning communities located in Alaska and the Yukon, and ways in which an academic institution such as UBC can best support those efforts. Incorporated in this work is formal linguistic theory to assist in language documentation and pedagogical material creation, as well as ontological approaches to ethnographic documentation of language learning, in real time. By looking at Lingít specifically, the hope then is that recommendations on how other academic institutions and tribal groups can partner together most equitably can be taken more broadly to First-Nations/ academic relations in general.

Research interests: Indigenous Languages, First Nations Languages, Language Revitalization, Linguistic Anthropology, Linguistics, Decolonization, Community Based Research, Aspect/Tense, Tlingit, Na-Dene, Alaska Native