What am I doing to keep the Haida language alive?, teacher asks

  • Dec. 1, 2008 4:00 p.m.

A Massett teacher asked school trustees to reflect on the question “What am I doing to keep the Haida language alive?” in a presentation at last week’s school board meeting. Maureen LaGroix, the Queen Charlotte District Teachers’ Association aboriginal representative, said Haida is an example of an endangered language which could survive if there is enough community interest and educational programs. “Our Haida language is our roots. Our Haida language is who we are,” she told trustees and members of the public. She gave several statistics, including that 10 aboriginal languages in Canada have become extinct in the last century, and that second language learners account for more than half of the speaking population among some of the nation’s most endangered aboriginal languages. “I share the statistics with you because we have so few elders left in Skidegate and Old Massett,” Ms LaGroix said. “I ask each one of you, what am I doing to keep the Haida language alive? Or, what am I going to start doing to keep the Haida language alive? The Haida language needs everyone’s support fully.” The percentage of Haida students in islands schools has been steadily rising and Ms LaGroix also shared the latest statistics on these numbers. G.M. Dawson secondary has the highest percentage of aboriginal students at 80 percent, according to her numbers, taken from a January 2008 Ministry of Education report, while Port Clements elementary has the lowest, at 22 percent. Overall, district pupils are 63 percent Haida or other aboriginal, and 37 percent non-aboriginal. Ms LaGroix said she wondered if the amount of Haida content in the curriculum was reflective of these numbers. She also asked the board to develop a plan to recruit more certified Haida teachers to work in the district and to hire only teachers who have taken at least one BC First Nations history course. She would also like to see all teacher training institutions make a BC First Nations history course a graduation requirement.

Just Posted

Queen Charlotte explores banning single use plastics

Council seeking community input on options to reduce plastic waste

Masset fishing derby proves to be a catch

All ages participated in the competition to bring in the top salmon and halibut hauls

Yarn Bombing mastermind is back in town

Big Canada Day longweekend in the works

New rules prohibit fishing in Haida waters

Strict protection zones will be in effect to preserve resources in the area

Taking on the World

Townsend’s Warblers are ready to fly the coop

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read