The struggle to preserve aboriginal languages in southern Alberta
Posted: Apr. 30, 2012
The languages spoken by aboriginal people for thousands of years in southern Alberta are in danger of disappearing. The legacy of residential schools, urbanisation and the dominance of English are threatening the survival of Blackfoot, Stoney-Nakoda and Tsuut'ina. The latter is one of the most fragile aboriginal languages in Canada with fewer than 100 fluent speakers.
However, a new generation of aboriginal people is trying to make those languages live again. They are teaching the very young in immersion programs on reserves; they are learning their languages as young adults; they are writing books and films in Blackfoot and Tsuut'ina and they are learning their languages and traditional beliefs in order to battle the demons of addiction and despair.
First Nations people in living Calgary and other cities are also struggling to hold on to their languages while making their way in an English-speaking society.
CBC journalists and freelancers travelled to reserves throughout southern Alberta to bring you these stories of people who are Finding the Words that they hope will ensure the cultural survival of the First Nations in the region.
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Rocky Mountain Nakoda Language
The critically endangered Aboriginal language of the Ĩyãħé Nakoda is proudly introduced on this website! Translated into English, Ĩyãħé Nakoda means "Mountain People". Based on oral history, the original form of speech of the Ĩyãħé Nakoda is presented here. It is a distinct dialect that, since time immemorial, has been passed down from generation to generation. This website is a modern means to communicate, standardize, maintain, and accurately preserve the authentic ancestral Ĩyãħé Nakoda language for current and future generations!
Tsuu T'ina Online Dictionary
Listen to the Tsuu T'ina translation of English words and discover which Tsuut'ina consonants do not exist in any other language.