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What is missing in language revitalization?

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Title: What is missing in language revitalization?
Issue Date: 02 Mar 2013
Description: When two of my grandmothers were dying, they reverted to communicating in their traditional language. There was no one at their sides who could understand their dying words. This is one of the reasons I choose to learn my language and examine at a more holistic way of language revitalization. While community learners attend language classes, use master-apprentice techniques and study language resources, we are running out of time to save our critically endangered language isolate. The handful of fluent teachers are over 80 years of age and the Haida communities on Haida Gwaii, BC in Canada and in southeast Alaska are in the race of our lifetime to ensure our language survives.

We need to slow down, offer a prayer and call upon our ancient spirituality and beliefs. Haida ancestors once used ceremonies, prayers and medicines to empower their speech, songs, memories and place in this world. They called upon the spirits of Story-woman, Lady Luck and others for help. There is a great need amongst the Haida and other indigenous peoples to have a deeper understanding of indigenous epistemology, tradition and spirituality to ensure our languages survive.

Through archival research, elder interviews and personal practice, I will share Haida epistemology as well as the ancient traditions that can hep to revitalize our dying language.
Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Appears in Collections:3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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