Author

Sara Acton

Date Approved

2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Special Education

Committee Member

Ana Claudia Harten

Committee Member

Willie Cupples

Committee Member

Ashley Glassburn Falzetti

Abstract

This qualitative research study explores cultural practices and priorities for child language development in two Cree communities in the James Bay Cree Region of northern Quebec, Canada. Using thematic analysis, themes are derived from semistructured interviews with 24 individuals on topics of child language development, language stimulation, and service provision, with a goal to identify local needs and priorities in each community and to support the development of culturally sustaining speech-language pathology services. Six major themes emerge across the two sites: (a) services and supports for special needs, (b) learning through interaction and demonstration, (c) Cree language, (d) Cree culture, (e) technology, and (f) bilingualism. Comparison across the two sites reveals differences that highlight the importance of developing connections at the community level, more so than the regional or cultural level, to ensure the development of culturally sustaining services.

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