CILLDI originally developed as a joint venture between Indigenous language researchers and activists at the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan. It was coordinated at the University of Alberta by Heather Blair (Elementary Education), Donna Paskemin (Native Studies), and Sally Rice (Linguistics) and at the University of Saskatchewan by Priscilla Settee (Indigenous Peoples Program) and Edie Hyggen (Indian Teacher Education Program).

The CILLDI summer school began in 2000 with a Cree immersion class unlike anything previously offered at the U of A or the U of S. For the program's first three summers, classes were held in or near Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The 2003 Institute marked the beginnings of a change in practice for CILLDI. More classes were offered, and the summer school moved to a new home on the University of Alberta campus. CILLDI has been held in Edmonton on the U of A campus ever since. Records and images from all of CILLDI's sixteen summer schools can be found in the pages for individual years.

Click on the navigation panel to the left to read about the CILLDI Summer Program over the years.

We know that the records of enrollment, achievement, and language use, which we provide in our yearly summaries represent only a fraction of the experiences remembered by students and staff. If you have attended CILLDI and have any documents, photographs, or stories that you think would add to CILLDI's collective history, please email us at cilldi@ualberta.ca. We welcome your memories and your contributions.


Drawing of a mother and a child