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Indigenous languages

Submitted by wcm on Tue, 05/22/2012 - 2:28pm

There is a rich linguistic heritage here in Western Canada. Neighbouring British Columbia is home to no less than thirty languages representing eight different language families or isolates. One of these families, viz. Wakashan, has long been my object of study (esp. Nuučaan̓uɫ (formerly Nootka) and Oowekyala-Hailhzaqvla/Heiltsuk). Calgary itself is relatively near to languages from five very different language families: Dene/Athabaskan (Tsuut'ina/Sarcee, Dunne-za/Beaver, Dëne Sųłiné/Chipewyan, Dene Tha/South Slavey), Algonquian (Blackfoot, Plains Cree, Ojibwe, Gros Ventre), Siouan (Stoney-Nakoda dialects), and more distantly, Ktunaxa (Kutenai/Kootenay) and Montana Salish. Through my teaching, research, consultation and training, I’ve had the privilege to learn and work with native speakers of most of these languages, and of many others (e.g. hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓/Musqueam, Michif, Dakota, Tłįchǫ Yatiì, etc.). I am interested in both the documentation and the revitalization of Indigenous languages.