Language as a facilitator of cultural connection
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Understanding culture as a means of preventing or treating health concerns is growing in popularity among social behavioral health scientists. Language is one component of culture and therefore may be a means to improve health among Indigenous populations. This study explores language as a unique aspect of culture through its relationship to other demographic and cultural variables. Participants (n = 218) were adults who self-identified as American Indian, had a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, and were drawn from two Ojibwe communities using health clinic records. We used chi-squared tests to compare language proficiency by demographic groups and ANOVA tests to examine relationships between language and culture. A higher proportion of those living on reservation lands could use the Ojibwe language, and fluent speakers were most notably sixty-five years of age and older. Regarding culture, those with greater participation and value belief in cultural activities reported greater language proficiency.
Gonzalez MB, Aronson BD, Kellar S, Walls ML, Greenfield BL. Language as a facilitator of cultural connection. ab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples’ Cultures, 1(2), 176-194. doi: 10.5325/aboriginal.1.2.0176.