Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-12-2022


The purpose of this study was to provide a critical analysis of the impact of colonization and assimilation on the Jicarilla Apache Language through narratives across generations. From a narrative inquiry perspective, I aimed to provide personal stories from among the Jicarilla Apache about language learning environments, experiences, and perspectives. Participants shared those used in the context of everyday interaction which provided language learning and transmission, impact of assimilation policies and practices from residential schools, historical intergenerational trauma, loss of language resulting in loss of culture and ceremonies, transmission of language, and an understanding of collective ideas for additional efforts to save a disappearing language. Many Jicarilla Apache people do not speak the Jicarilla Apache Language. Fluent speakers of the Jicarilla Apache Language are aging and when they physically leave this world, they are taking our language with them faster than current attempts to teach non-speakers. The COVID-19 Pandemic has heightened the awareness for the Jicarilla Apache people and caused a cultural crisis with each loss meaning many are taking cultural knowledge and the Jicarilla Apache language with them. Understanding the impact of colonization on the Jicarilla Apache Language from individual experiences; we can bring a voice to current situations of language loss and move toward language revitalization. Through a qualitative study that included semi-structured interviews and group discussions to gather stories and lessons; I explored the impact of colonization on the Jicarilla Apache Language, bringing attention to a disappearing language, and exploring revitalization efforts.


language loss, language revitalization, language development, impact of colonization and assimilation, Native languages

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Alicia F. Chávez

Second Committee Member

Shawn L. Secatero

Third Committee Member

Vincent Werito

Fourth Committee Member

Robin "Zape-tah-hol-ah" Starr Minthorn

Available for download on Thursday, May 14, 2026