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Fighting to Save Indigenous Sign Languages – The Tyee

Reconciliation commission called for action to save Indigenous languages — but traditional sign languages are being forgotten.

Carlos Oen is an intern at The Tyee from the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. He is a Mexico City native who reports on politics, public policy, business and music.

t’s April 19, and deaf students from across B.C. have come together for a full-day celebration of Indigenous culture. They’ll hoop dance, make art and play traditional games. Deaf Indigenous artists will perform, and lead workshops.

But first, Nikki Sellars of the Xat’sull First Nation, a former vice-president of Deaf Okanagan Society, signs a prayer.

“Creator, we long for the homeless in our families. For honest open communication to say what we need to say in safety and without fear. Creator, we give thanks for the knowledge we get from all traditions of the world. Help us to honour the gifts of all traditions.”

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