By: Mateo Ospina
October 29, 2014, 8:40pm PDT
A UBC anthropology professor is hoping to bring aboriginal languages to the forefront of language study at UBC.
Mark Turin, who is chair of the UBC First Nations Language Program and a registered student in the same program, has an academic background in studies of endangered languages around the world. He is currently working towards a future in First Nations studies that focuses on a partnership between the university and indigenous communities.
The First Nations Language Program currently offers opportunities to study languages such as Cree, Kwak’wala, Nle’kepmxcin and Dakelh Dene. In order to expand the program’s curriculum to include more indigenous languages, Turin has immersed himself in the language and culture of aboriginal peoples from the B.C. area to work directly toward the revival of languages with just a few speakers left.
“We’re probably seeing the last generation of fluent speakers of many of these languages,” said Turin.
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