The survival of a culture at the brink; CKLB, Beacon of Aboriginal language silenced — Northern Journal

Beacon of Aboriginal language silenced

The survival of a culture at the brink — Northern Journal

via The survival of a culture at the brink — Northern Journal.

The shutdown of CKLB and the silencing of its Aboriginal language programming is a loss for all Northerners; and if reports that as many as a dozen Aboriginal language radio stations across the country may soon lose the financial means to continue their own programming are true, all Canadians will suffer a loss. In particular, the termination of CKLB and other radio stations like it is a serious blow to the ongoing efforts to revive Aboriginal language and culture.

CKLB is listened to in many Northern communities where Aboriginal languages are still used routinely by elders and the middle-aged, giving youth a chance to learn and carry on their ancestral languages. Taking that away is a great setback.

Not supporting the return of Aboriginal languages, while supplanting youth completely within English language instruction in schools – in order to facilitate a more efficient economic model – is as colonial in its way as residential schools were.

The cultures of Canada’s first peoples have been under siege for over 200 years, including targeted and systematic efforts to kill them off; but in the last 40 years, language and culture have begun to draw back from the brink. There has been a pervasive rekindling of awareness and pride in culture by First Nations across Canada in recent years. Youth are more engaged, the culture is being revitalized and the languages are being used. The drums are beating again. Granted, Aboriginal languages are second to English in most First Nation homes and youth struggle to learn their mother tongue, but at least the languages are still alive, their use actually growing…..”

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