Vulnerable indigenous languages focus of UAlberta summer school – UofA

Vulnerable indigenous languages focus of UAlberta summer school – UofA

by ahnationtalk on August 10, 2015393 Views

August 4, 2015

UAlberta language institute CILLDI arms Aboriginal speakers with the tools to preserve their languages

More than half of the world’s living languages are now considered endangered, and researchers expect thousands will die out before the turn of the century.

In Canada, many Aboriginal languages like Dene, Dogrib and Gwich’in have been identified as vulnerable or critically endangered. According to Statistics Canada, at least 10 once-flourishing languages have become extinct in the last decade.

In an effort to save some of these native tongues, the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI), an initiative at the University of Alberta involving the faculties of arts, education and native studies, hosts a summer school aimed at arming community members with the tools they need to preserve their native languages.

“Language is connected to culture and identity, and it’s very important for the stability of indigenous cultures and people,” says Susan Penfield, professor at the University of Arizona and CILLDI summer school instructor. “The very hard reality is that these indigenous languages are struggling to stay vital.”

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