CBT seeks to celebrate rich linguistic diversity

As co-chairs of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, Tammy Dorward and I had the honour of representing our biosphere reserve at the Canadian Biosphere

Commission for UNESCO meetings in Victoria, June 5 to 7. After the meetings, we hosted 24 delegates from across Canada for a weekend in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve (CSBR).

The meeting focused on the question, How can UNESCO and indigenous people work together to reconstruct, recover, and vitalize indigenous languages, wisdom, and stories?

This was very pertinent to the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT).

Our board has a joint governance model, which is unique in Canada, and includes representation from the regions five First Nations as well as the Districts of Tofino and Ucluelet and Area C of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

Through its granting program, the CBT has supported various Nuu-chahnulth language projects. Recent examples include the Tla-o-qui-aht language app and the Roots of our Ancestors digital storytelling project.

Our local efforts ultimately support provincial efforts to celebrate the rich diversity of First Nations languages.

While in Victoria, Tammy and I were privileged to attend a pre-opening of “Our Living Languages,” an exhibit at the Royal BC Museum that examines the fragility of the province’s 34 unique First Nation languages and what can be done to keep them alive.

It allowed me to glimpse the CBT’s small efforts in terms of a larger mandate.

I learned that by preserving language, we encourage the possession of thousands of years of rich traditional knowledge and intangible cultural heritage.

There is an intertwining of the language, culture, stories, and knowledge that is so rich!

On a Canadian scale, the local language initiatives fit in well with the UNESCO mandate.

The “C” in UNESCO stands for culture, and our First Nations culture needs more local advocacy.

We are proud to be partners in the linguistic work in the CSBR region.

I was inspired by the BC Museum exhibition and the work that has been done, both provincially and locally, but we have so much more to do!

Thank you to Levi Martin, Joe Martin, Eli Enns, Jim Darling, Terry Dorward and Tammy Dorward for sharing your knowledge, language, and your stories this past weekend. You are beginning to answer the question well for me. I hope others will join in the dialogue!

Cathy Thicke is a co-chair of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, and a District of Tofino councillor.

Just Posted

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Tofino mayor explains housing editorial

“We felt it was important to get our messages out there.”

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Inside the Olympic performance of the Island’s Teal Harle

Islander finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle final in Pyeong Chang

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Most Read