Chapter 9 indigenous languages Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 9 indigenous languages Deck (23):

Three political groupings of Indigenous peoples in Canada

First Nations, Metis, Inuit


How many indigenous language families spoken in Canada

7 First Nations families and 2 isolates plus a separate language family spoken by inuit and the mixed language of the metis (10 in total) 50-70 actual languages.


Which Indigenous families are just in BC

Salish, Wakashan, Tsimshianic and two isolates Haida and Ktunaxa


What are the six indigenous languages spoken on Vancouver Island

Kwak’wala (Wakashan)
• Nuu-chah-nulth (Wakashan)
• Ditidaht (Wakashan)
• Northern Straits Salish (incl. SENĆOŦEN)
• Hul’q’umi’num (Salish)
• Comox/Sliammon (Salish)


The most extensively spoken Indigenous languages in Canada are

• Cree (Algonquian): 90K speakers in Canada +1K US
• Inuktitut (Eskimo-Aleut): 34K Canada+46K Greenland
• Ojibwe (Algonquian): 31K Canada+ 5K US
• Dëne Sųłiné (Athabaskan): 12K Canada



an important vehicle for passing down Indigenous values and oral histories in a community’s language. were banned


How many indigenous languages are there in Canada?

It is estimated that at the time of contact there were 450 Aboriginal languages and dialects in Canada.
There are now approximately 50-70 Indigenous languages still spoken in Canada


All Indigenous languages in Canada are seriously endangered, which three are not at risk of extinction?

Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibwe


where has the greatest diversity of Indigenous languages in Canada?

BC, about 30 languages belonging to eight distinct language families.


When was the language revitalization movement was fully established?

The language revitalization movement was fully established by the 1980s–early 1990s.


What are the strategies for language revitalization?

Speaking the language at home
Language classes
Documentation and preservation
Creation of resources
Teacher training
Policy and political advocacy
Language engineering
Bilingual schooling
Immersion in Early Childhood


Speaking the language at home

The best way to transmit a language is for children to acquire it as a first language
A long-term plan, and strategies that involve the whole community, work best.


Language classes

Indigenous language is taught as a subject
most accessible option, but it tends not to produce fluent speakers


Documentation and preservation

Taping Elders speaking the language; creating dictionaries and interactive computer resources
Doesn’t directly create fluent speakers


Creation of resources

Creation of teaching resources such as books, audiotapes, CD-ROMs, videotapes and films.


Teacher training

A fluent speaker is not automatically a skillful language teacher.
Several institutions offer certified teacher- training programs supporting teaching and learning of Indigenous languages


Policy and political advocacy

Fundraising and strategizing at higher levels.
ex. federal Aboriginal Languages Initiative (begun in 1998)



partnerships with linguistic scholars allow Indigenous investigators to learn about linguistic theory, to archive language materials, and to produce effective language- learning materials.


Language engineering

process of establishing language authorities to create and document new vocabulary.
allows the language to incorporate contemporary expressions for aspects of popular culture, such as rap music or snowboarding.


Bilingual schooling

first bilingual Cree-English school opened in Thompson, Manitoba in 2001.
bilingual schools have varying degrees of success



Adult-specific: Master-Apprentice and small- group programs for regular conversations with Elders.
Early childhood programs (language nests) provide immersion for infants.


Immersion in Early Childhood

Within months of being born, babies begin to acquire language; by age five they have mastered the phonology, morphology and syntax of their native language.
Up to three years of age is a critical time for children to acquire the phonology of their first language(s).


Language nests

early childhood programs to immerse infants into indigenous language