17th INTERNATIONAL PRAGMATICS CONFERENCE – https.//pragmatics.international

To be held in Winterthur, Switzerland, from June 27 to July 2, 2021


                                    CALL FOR PAPERS for the following panel:


Analysing policies and practices of communication between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada: the key role of language in creating change


Organized by Dr. Jennifer Hartog (CRLCC, Glendon College, York University) and Prof. Jochen Rehbein (University of Hamburg)


            After claiming equality (e.g. equal access to clean water), recognition of cultural specificity (language programmes) and documentation and redress of the crimes committed against their peoples (Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2015), it is the experience of the Indigenous peoples in Canada that programmes designed for them are still not putting them on an equal footing with the people who came later to Canada and colonized it.

            New ideas are necessary so that one does not merely tinker with old structures.

            The proposed panel aims at discussing how inclusion, understood as participatory inclusion, is an important concept in order to analyse, understand and resolve problems between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. This form of inclusion assumes mutual inclusion, not built on power structures, but rather on intercultural competence and multilingualism (learned on both sides) as well as complex models of multilingual communication which allow for dealing with critique of presuppositions in discourse, applying cultural filters or establishing rapport. Critique will lead to new forms of discourse once both sides have understood what is at stake in the ongoing communication. Only then can routine structures be broken up and lead to new practices of linguistic and societal inclusion. These practices need to be tried out in various societal constellations and their linguistic-communicative structures and need to be multilingual thus requiring people to learn other languages, not just the language of those in power at the time. Practices of genuine participatory inclusion are fundamental for resolving problems in the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and for   establishing equality with regard to the rights of all. Language is not a mere supplement but rather the key to understanding actions and creating multilingual equality which then needs to be established in legally binding terms.

            The focus of the panel will be on Canada because the political momentum is ready to make a breakthrough towards change. Contributions concerning other countries also confronted with problems of communication between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are welcome, too, as are papers of a more general scope on multilingualism relevant to the Canadian discussion.

            Contributions may include:

– Discourse analysis of institutional (legal, medical, educational) communication;

– Analysis of conflict discourse;

– Analysis of official programmes;

– Analysis of Indigenous literature;

– Analysis of interpreted and translated discourse;

– Theories of language for a decolonized multilingual society and their relevance for  creating social justice in Canada.


Please send abstract to the panel at https://pragmatics.international/page/Winterthur2021 

Deadline: October 25th       

For queries, please contact jenniferannhartog@gmail.com