Chapter 9: Reclaiming Indigenous languages

As we saw in Chapter 1, Canada’s settler government has engaged for many decades in deliberate strategies to eliminate the languages spoken by Indigenous peoples. Indigenous people have been working for years to try to preserve their languages by increasing the number of people who can speak them, and since the 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the federal government has more openly acknowledged the importance of these efforts.

This chapter includes interviews with several Indigenous experts who are doing the work of preserving and reclaiming their languages, and the work of helping other members of their Nations become speakers.

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Essentials of Linguistics, 2nd edition by Catherine Anderson; Bronwyn Bjorkman; Derek Denis; Julianne Doner; Margaret Grant; Nathan Sanders; and Ai Taniguchi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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