The Royal BC Museum received a prestigious award earlier this week for their Our Living Languages exhibition.
The exhibition showcases the resilience and diversity of First Nations languages in the province.
The First Peoples’ Cultural Council is largely responsible for the exhibition, providing information and expertise.
Aliana Parker is with the FPCC, where she’s the Language Revitalization Program Specialist.
She says throughout the province, work is being done to preserve First Nations languages.
Nisg’a and Tsilhqot’in are two First Nations languages that are relatively strong, with about 15% of their population able to speak their language fluently.
But there are others that are endangered.
She says one language, spoken around the Kitasoo area only has one fluent speaker remaining.
Despite that, there are efforts to preserve the language through videos and recordings of elders.
She says one example of language revitalization took place on Haida Gwaii.
Once a language is lost, it’s gone forever, and because language encapsulates so much more than verbal communication, so much more is lost with it.
The FPCC is also a partner with the Endangered Languages Project.
It’s a website that allows linguists and those interested in languages to network and collaborate.
The website also has a map that shows endangered languages around the world, and provides information on those languages.
The website for the project is at: www.endangeredlanguages.com.