Gilakasla! óki! Aniin! Han! Hau! Shé:kon! Edlanat’e! Ullaakkut! Ullukkut! Tawnshi!
Revitalization & Preservation
Focus on Process
The aim of the Indigenous Languages Revitalization- Online Resources is to highlight different communities, groups, organizations and individuals who are doing work with languages. Each community, organization, group and individual had an opportunity to highlight their work towards revitalization and preservation with a focus on process.
Living Culture, Speaking Truth: Language Revitalization In Our Communities documents a collaborative exchange of best practices for language revitalization across Canada. The film documents seven Indigenous communities who have taken initiative by employing unique strategies and are at the forefront of strengthening and revitalizing their Indigenous languages. This project was built upon a foundation of Indigenous tradition, culture, ceremony, and sacredness with the intent to create a legacy that will contribute to the strengthening and revitalizing of Indigenous languages and cultures.
I was not encouraged to speak my language. My parents attended residential school and were not allowed to speak the only language they know. This was passed on to me. Once they married and reached a certain age, they began speaking their language to each other. When I started to speak, they would correct me and make me speak English.
I grew up in an English speaking school and did not use it throughout. I did not teach my children as I thought English would get them further in life. I regret this but understand that we thought we were helping our children.
Once I started to get older, the community was looking for language speakers to help other community members learn. I started off being around fluent speakers and caught on again. I have worked at it the past 5 years and started mentoring younger speakers.
I am still reclaiming my language but share what I know. I am teaching my children who are now in their forties and teaching my grandchildren.
My hope is that I can help out the younger generations.
I started learning a few words at daycare. In grade 1, the school started to teach us the language. At our concerts, we would sing in the language. I learned the language every year in school. My dad started taking my brothers and sisters to something for people in my community. We do fun stuff and learn to play games like bingo. We read comics in the language and sing songs on the radio in the language.
I can say many words which makes me proud. My dad is proud of me. Sometimes I make mistakes but my teacher tells me to keep going. This makes me happy.
I like learning the language and one day want to be able to speak to my grandma in the language. Speaking my language makes me feel proud.
My language learning began in university. I had taken a course with a renowned language speaker. The year long course inspired me to continue my learning. Once I was done, I continued to learn by printing a word a day and placing them all over my home. I learned numerous words.
The following year, I attended a community language class on the weekends. During this class I became close with the Elder.
I would join this Elder for coffee on the weekends and we would speak for an hour. After the class was over, I would join this Elder and their friends and they would speak the language. This experience helped me learn how to say sentences. I was stuck and only knew how to say words. Anyone learning the language, I would encourage them to be immersed and to reach out to the language speakers. The language speakers are there, they want to share but they do not know how to go about doing this.