Language of the Year: Gitxsanimx Workshop

Every year, the Linguistics Department chooses a ‘language of the year’ to highlight as part of its commitment to promoting indigenous and minority languages. Typically, the language we choose is also the topic of the Linguistics Field Methods class (LING 431/432/531/532), an upper-level undergraduate/graduate seminar which involves intensive small-group work with a language consultant or consultants. This year, the language of the year is Gitksan (Gitxsanimx), the indigenous language of the people of the Skeena River in interior NW BC.

Our first event will involve presentations by the Field Methods students (c.90 minutes in total); they have been asked to prepare short lessons in various aspects of the language, in order to develop curriculum material which can be used by Gitksan communities as well as to display their own grasp of the language, as part of the requirements for the class.Following the formal presentations, we will be going through the protocols for a Gitksan ‘feast’ (though the food will be a simple buffet); the students will give short (one line) speeches introducing themselves and thanking the consultants.

Invitees will include members of the Gitksan community in Vancouver, as well as interested students and faculty from Linguistics, Anthropology, First Nations Studies, and LLED. Any interested members of the public are very welcome to attend as well.