Hupacasath First Nation

Posted on: 21/12/2009

A Vancouver Island aboriginal language now risks extinction with the deaths of two more native speakers, a First Nations leader says.

Within the last month, two members of the Hupacasath First Nation died, leaving their relatives fearing that their native tongue could die along with them.

“Our language has gone from critical to very near extinct,” said Judith Sayers, a former Hupacasath chief who was instrumental in starting an intensive language program that has produced 10 books and numerous CDs and DVDs with the help of five fluent speakers.

“Our language is not just about . . . identifying ourselves as a people, it is also about the ability to tell our histories, know our protocols and teach our teachings,” she said.

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