Published through the Recovering Languages and Literacies of the Americas initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Today indigenous communities throughout North America are grappling with the dual issues of language loss and revitalization. While many communities are making efforts to restore their traditional languages through educational programs, for some communities these efforts are not enough or have come too late to stem the tide of language death, which occurs when no fluent speakers remain and the language is no longer used in regular communication. The Maliseet language, as spoken in the Tobique First Nation of New Brunswick, Canada, is one such endangered language that will either survive through revitalization or die off.Defying Maliseet Language Death is an ethnographic study by Bernard C. Perley, a member of this First Nation, that examines the continuing role of the Maliseet language in Maliseet identity processes. Perley examines what is being done to keep the Maliseet language alive, who is actively involved in these efforts, and how these two factors are promoting the survival of the Maliseet language. He also explores questions of identity, asking the important question: “If Maliseet is no longer spoken, are we still Maliseet?” This timely volume presents a unique perspective on the place of language within culture by considering the dual issues of language survival and indigenous identity.
Politics-Social-Sciences, Anthropology, Cultural,