Giiahl Galang

Giiahl Galang

The State of the Haida Language

Unknown - 2003 ; 2007
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Pre-contact, the Haida language flourished with as many different dialects as there were villages. Today, few fluent speakers remain. Skidegate has only 34 speakers left, and the language is in danger. Some worry that the Haida people stand to lose a unique worldview that is embodied in their indigenous tongue. Diane Brown, coordinator of the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program, points out that one of the biggest challenges is a lack of interest on the part of young people, despite the fact that through her program they have the rare opportunity to study with fluent elders. There are 14 elders in the program, who both learn themselves and volunteer to teach others, both adults and children. Elementary school teachers try to remedy a waning interest in the Haida language by making it part of everyday lessons, bringing elders into the class to assist in teaching songs and prayer.
Publisher: Vancouver, B.C. : Ravens and Eagles Productions, [Urban Rez Productions], c2003 ; Moving Images [distributor] ; Image Media [distributor], 2007
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (24 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. (DVD)


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