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Category Archives: Language Endangerment

‘The Linguists’ Tonight, Next Month on Local PBS

With apologies for the late notice, The Linguists is showing tonight at 8:30p on Detroit PBS (channel 43 on Shaw in Greater Vancouver). The film is also showing at 12:00p on Seattle PBS (channel 27 on Shaw in Greater Vancouver) on April 10. From the Vanity Fair review (posted on the thelinguists.com website): The Linguists […]

‘Finding Our Talk’ Season 3 on APTN

Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network (APTN) will begin airing Finding Our Talk Season 3 on April 1, 2009. From the release: Finding Our Talk 3 is a continuing documentary series of 13 half hour episodes produced by Mushkeg Media Inc. that looks at the state of Aboriginal languages both within Canada and the boarder indigenous world. […]

Tahltan Language Annotated Bibliography

John Alderete (SFU Linguistics) and I have published an annotated bibliography of Tahltan language materials in the open access Northwest Journal of Linguistics. Abstract: This bibliography lists and summarizes materials on the Tahltan language, including linguistic and anthropological research papers, dictionaries, collections of stories, and teaching materials. We hope that the bibliography will give language […]

Inuvialuktun Language to get ‘Update’

The CBC.ca reports on a meeting of Inuvialuit elders and teachers in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (western Canadian arctic) to update the Inuvialuktun language. The article suggests concern for the state of the language because “has not had a major update in more than 20 years, and speakers say it needs to keep up with the […]

Endangered Languages on the Colbert Report

I couldn’t agree more with David Harrison that watching Stephen Colbert ‘cover’ endangered languages was a lot of fun (see comments). And, I will be using the clip of Colbert’s discussion with Harrison in my Intro to Cultural Anthropology class lecture on Language. (Those on a computer in Canada will find the clip here.) (Also […]

Hunting and Survival Training in the Far North

CBC.ca reports on declining traditional knowledge about proper hunting techniques in Nunuvut. The article cites elders who hear of young people failing to dress properly for the cold. Education about how to dress is required. A Nunuvut researcher continues: “If they were taught [survival and hunting skills] — not just names of animals and the […]

The Pine Beetle Crisis and Changing Fire Management Strategies in BC History

Terry Glavin’s piece in yesterday’s Globe And Mail describes the impact of the pine beetle infestation and its dramatic effects on native cultures in British Columbia. This is an under-reported aspect of the pine beetle story … it is a natural disaster story where the pine beetle’s effect on the provincial economy usually makes the […]

New Endangered Languages Website and Forum

I have learned today about a brand new website and forum for discussing endangered languages. It was set up by Matthew McDaniel who has a significant interest in the Akha of Mongolia. The site uses RSS feeds and provides opportunities for registered users to contribute to a dialogue about endangered languages. I look forward to […]

Chinook Jargon and a Metaphor for an Inclusive British Columbia

Nicholas Klassen reflects on Chinook Jargon in TheTyee.ca today. Chinook Jargon is a trade language used along the Pacific Coast and well into the interior of western North America to facilitate communication and trade between groups of people who otherwise spoke different languages. Klassen’s discussion emphasizes how Chinook Jargon was used by speakers to create […]

Language Maintenance Strategies from the Yukon

The Yukon News has a story about language endangerment and strategies for maintaining and preserving aboriginal languages there. The article addresses connections between fears of success in the wider world and resistance to learning aboriginal languages. From the article: But [the interest in reviving and preserving languages] often conflicts with a deep-seeded fear within educators […]