CILLDI is the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute. Pronounced ‘sill-dee’, the Institute hosts an annual summer school held at the University of Alberta, and is dedicated to the revitalization of Canada’s Indigenous languages through documentation, teaching, and literacy.
CILLDI has been in operation since 2000. Throughout this time, it has provided practical training to students, training which has been directly implemented back in the community. It is a tri-Faculty initiative at the University of Alberta, involving the Faculties of Arts, Education, and Native Studies. CILLDI strives to be multicultural, cross-linguistic, interdisciplinary, inter-regional, inter-generational, and responsive to different sociolinguistic situations in language communities under threat. Our purpose is to support individuals at the community level by providing basic training in linguistics, native languages, second language teaching, and other aspects of professional enhancement such as language-related research and policy making.
We supply tools to Indigenous language activists so that they can better promote, protect, practice, and pass on their language. This includes a unique opportunity: students can earn university credits while learning about selected Canadian Indigenous languages and cultures. We are very pleased to have so many returning students each year.
Learn more about studying with us on our Study page, and browse the links below to find out more about our past, present and future!
Learn about how declining linguistic diversity inspired CILLDI's development.
CILLDI has a long and vibrant history - find previous course offerings, affiliates, and images on our history page.
Learn about the diversity and geography of languages that have been present at CILLDI as spoken by our Elders, instructors, or students.
Learn about the work of the American Indian Language Development Institute.
Learn about our plans for CILLDI's future.
15 years of CILLDI in our students' words
Click on the image to read quotes from our students!
CILLDI students have come from: