Antle Discovers his Voice

Examining Uses of Oral Language Resources for Mi’kmaw Learners


  • Dr. Lori McKee University of Saskatchewan
  • Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden St. Francis Xavier University
  • Blaire Gould Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey
  • Jarrett Laughlin Sprig Learning
  • Ramona Morris St. Francis Xavier University



oral language, assessment, Mi'kaw learners, Indigenous methodologies, program evaluation


This article shares findings from the first phase of program evaluation of Antle, a holistic language resource for teaching, learning and assessment. The program evaluation was guided by understandings that appreciate the interconnections of literacies and identities and is situated within a decolonizing framework that recognizes the transformation of Indigenous knowledges as essential. A quantitative and qualitative analysis was conducted. Analysis revealed the educators valued Antle but did not use the resource consistently. Recommendations include providing information to teachers about connections between literacies theories, curriculum outcomes, and program activities, and additional support for implementation. This article serves as an invitation to researchers and educators across Canada to rethink literacy assessment practices.

Author Biographies

Dr. Lori McKee, University of Saskatchewan

Lori McKee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She teaches courses in English Language Arts. Her research is centred at the intersections of literacies, pedagogies, and teacher professional learning. Through her teaching and research, she seeks to open spaces for expansive literacies teaching and learning.

Dr. Lisa Lunney Borden, St. Francis Xavier University

Lisa Lunney Borden is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at St. Francis Xavier University, as well as Chair of the Department of Teacher Education. She holds the John Jerome Paul Chair for Equity in Mathematics Education striving to improve outcomes in mathematics for Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian youth. Prior to coming to StFX, she had a teaching career in We’koqma’q First Nation where she spent ten years as a secondary mathematics teacher, a vice-principal and principal, as well as the provincial mathematics leader for all Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey schools in Nova Scotia. Lisa credits her students and the Mi’kmaw community for inspiring her to think differently about mathematics education which continues to shape her work today. She is committed to research and outreach that focuses on decolonizing mathematics education through culturally based practices and experiences that are rooted in Indigenous languages and knowledge systems.

Blaire Gould, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey

Blaire Gould is the Executive Director of Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey. She comes from the Mi’kmaq district of Unama’ki and is a proud L’nu’skw and speaker. She strives to advance the educational opportunities and rights for the Mi’kmaq people. Blaire has continued to pursue new and innovating ways to infuse language and culture into the 21st century.

Jarrett Laughlin, Sprig Learning

Jarrett Laughlin is the Founder and CEO at Sprig Learning, where he co-designs socially innovative and community-based early learning programs with educational partners across North America. Prior to Sprig Learning, Jarrett worked at Canada’s national lifelong learning research organization, the Canadian Council on Learning, where he was responsible for developing holistic approaches to researching and reporting on Indigenous learning, as well as managing the implementation and dissemination of the country’s Composite Learning Index. Jarrett has also worked for the Ontario Ministry of Education and for the Assembly of First Nations Education Secretariat, conducting research and developing education policy and programs.

Ramona Morris, St. Francis Xavier University

Ramona Morris is a Mi’kmaw Educator from Eskasoni First Nation. She graduated with a Master of Education in Administration and Policy in Indigenous Education from St. Francis Xavier University. Ramona, a fluent speaker, was fortunate to grow up in a community during a time when Mi’kmaw language was strong and used by all who surrounded her. One of Ramona’s Favorite projects was working with Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre and The National Museum of American Indians as a language facilitator looking at archival notes associated with Mi’kmaw traditional items, returning to community to collect additional terms and stories about the traditional items. She gained an interest in community led first language research using language and story as a foundation to strengthen first voice, perspective and interpretation. Ramona is dedicated to working for her people building bridges one word, one story, at a time.




How to Cite

McKee, L., Lunney Borden, L., Gould, B., Laughlin, J., & Morris, R. (2024). Antle Discovers his Voice: Examining Uses of Oral Language Resources for Mi’kmaw Learners. Language and Literacy, 26(2), 18–37.