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Emerging from out of the Margins

Essays on Haida Language, Culture, and History

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Fredericke White

This book provides an insider view of Haida language, history, and culture, and offers a perspective on Haida culture that comes not only from external research but also from intimate knowledge and experiences the author has had as a Haida Nation citizen. The book’s focus on language – past, present, and future – allows insight into the Haida language documentation and revitalization process that will benefit other cultures currently addressing similar issues with their language. Being able to write and discuss Haida culture as an insider affords the opportunity to instantiate the role of a First Nations scholar including the intricacies involved in having a voice about one’s own culture and history. A First Nations person publishing a book about his or her own culture is a rare opportunity. However, such publications will become more common as other indigenous scholars and writers emerge from other margins around the world.
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8. Linguistic Strategies Encountered at a Haida Immersion Camp

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8

Linguistic Strategies Encountered at a Haida Immersion Camp

Introduction

Many First Nations’ people currently find themselves in critical stages of language death concerning their ancestral language. Many communities around the world face the possibility language death. Nettle and Romaine use the term “dying” and “death” in regards to languages on the verge of complete loss. They explain that though languages are not biological entities, the terms of death and dying are appropriate in describing what occurs around the world. The authors then ask a rhetorical question regarding justification for these terms, and then provide their answers:

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