Ktunaxa Language Focal Point of National Indigenous Peoples Day

(Supplied by ʔaq̓am Community)

The Ktunaxa Nation is celebrating 2019 National Indigenous Peoples Day with the rest of the country on Friday, holding local events with a focus on the preservation of their unique and isolated language.

Joe Pierre, ʔaq̓am Community Chief said they are holding celebrations across the Ktunaxa Nation on Friday.

"Down at the Tobacco Plains community they're going to be having their Aboriginal Days Celebrations and out at ʔaq̓am as well, we'll be having celebrations all day long starting about 1:00 pm and going right through the evening."

"This year they're focusing on aboriginal or indigenous languages in the country," Pierre told Summit 107.

Donald Sam, Director of Traditional Knowledge and Language with the Ktunaxa Nation said that language is of vital importance to the local Ktunaxa.

An isolated language, Sam said its critically endangered of being lost.

"In Canada, we have less than 12 very fluent speakers so it's critical."

Sam told Summit 107 that they are making every effort to restore the language ensuring that future generations continue to speak it and carry on the local traditions of the Ktunaxa people.

"We are trying to revitalize the language and culture by a number of different ways and supporting community members that are stepping up and making that effort to learn more about who they are and where we come from."

More details on the 2019 National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations are below.

Audio: Donald Sam, Director of Traditional Knowledge and Language with the Ktunaxa Nation (on preserving Ktunaxa language)

Audio: Donald Sam, Director of Traditional Knowledge and Language with the Ktunaxa Nation (on the endangerment of Ktunaxa language)

Audio: Joe Pierre, ʔaq̓am Community Chief (on language at ʔaq̓am gym and keeping tradition)

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