NWT Literacy Council L a n g u a g e s    o f    t h e    L a n d header graphic
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This manual has been prepared as an active planning tool for Aboriginal language activists throughout the new Northwest Territories. It is based on the belief that the Aboriginal languages of the Northwest Territories can only be maintained and passed on to younger generations if there is a concerted effort by many individuals and organizations to revitalize the languages.

The manual is divided into three main sections:

  • Things You Need to Know;
  • Taking Action; and
  • Aboriginal Language Resources.

Things You Need to Know
In this section, a summary of some important language retention and revitalization issues is provided. Linguists have done considerable research on language shift around the world because Aboriginal languages are not the only languages that are struggling to stay alive. In fact, most countries in the world have one or more traditional languages that have been – or are being – lost. This section also provides basic information on the seven Aboriginal languages / dialects that are used in the new Northwest Territories and on Aboriginal language rights.

Taking Action
Readers can use this section as a guide for local language planning – either at the community or regional level. This section stresses the need for shared action – no one individual or organization can retain or revive an Aboriginal language. You may write in, draw in, photocopy, and share this section of the manual. But don't put in on the shelf and leave it for someone else to act on. Be an activist!

Aboriginal Language Resources
A wide range of informational and human resources exists in all regions of the Northwest Territories. Often, however, these resources are often not publicized, catalogued, or distributed. This section of the manual identifies some of the resources presently available to communities.

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