Saving Language and Culture
Using Technology to preserve oral culture.
Language is Dying
66% of the World’s Languages are  in danger of extinction within the  next 50 years. Culture is intimately linked with  language – destroy the language,  destroy the culture. The health of a people is, in large  part, determined by the strength  of their culture.

The Volkswagen  Foundation states:
“Some two thirds of the estimated 6,500 languages still spoken throughout the world are in danger of disappearing within the next one to two generations. But if a language dies, this also means that a piece of the cultural diversity of our world dies with it.”
(http://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/index.php?id=172&L=1)
The Elders are Passing
The current generation of elders is  the last who grew up speaking  their language as a First language.
There are few, if any, elders left who learned in traditional ways. Most, if not all, of the elders were  severely impacted by the  Residential Schools.
How is Knowledge Passed  On?
Traditionally, the elders trained the next generation in the arts and  sciences in which they were expert. The younger generation spent years apprenticing to the elders in these skills. The stories, songs, and art took the place of written language – they were repeated many, many times.
What Happened?
Oral History requires an unbroken  chain – each generation learning  from the previous. If the chain is broken in one generation, it is possible to by-pass that generation and have the elders teach the children. However, if two generations are lost, language and culture begin to disappear.

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