British Columbia is home to 60% of all the Indigenous languages spoken all across Canada and language is key to the sharing of traditional Indigenous knowledges and ways of being as well as cultural expression. International researchers have identified Canada as one of the top ten global “hot spots” for threatened Indigenous languages.
Aiyana Twigg (Lieutenant Governor medal recipient for her work on Indigenous language revitalization), Mack Paul (Protocol Coordinator with Musqueam Nation) and Dallas Hunt (Assistant Professor, UBC Faculty of Arts) will discuss their ideas, projects and work around Indigenous Language revitalization and its vitality to their lived experiences with moderator Courtenay Gibson, Associate Director of Community Services with Musqueam Nation.
Aiyana Twigg is Ktunaxa on her mother’s side, and Blackfoot, registered Blood tribe, on her father’s side. She grew up on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Ktunaxa in ʔakink̓umⱡasnuqⱡiʔit (Tobacco Plains), where she had the opportunity to learn Ktunaxa, and cultural practices from her grandmother, and elders within her community. Aiyana is a proud Ktunaxa youth, and supports her community with language revitalization through unconventional capacities!
Dallas Hunt is Cree and a member of Wapsewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta, Canada. He has had creative and critical work published in the Malahat Review, Arc Poetry, Canadian Literature, and the American Indian Culture and Research Journal. His first children’s book, Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock, was published through Highwater Press in 2018, and was nominated for the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. His teaching and research interests include Indigenous literatures, Indigenous theory & politics, Canadian Literature, speculative fiction, settler colonial studies, and environmental justice.
kʷəlasəltən, whose English name is Mack Paul, is from the Musqueam Nation, and works as a Musqueam 2S pride activist, and the protocol coordinator in the Musqueam Nation’s protocol and communication department. Growing up, their family ensured they were enriched with culture and tradition, which continues to guide them through to today. This led them to become a learner and advocate of their traditional language, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.
Courtenay Gibson is the Associate Director of Community Services with Musqueam Nation and is the coordinator of eight department that deliver services to the Musqueam Community. She focuses on integrated service delivery, major projects, and policy development for the Musqueam Community.
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