Xaad Kilang T'alang Dagwiieehldaang




Bell, Lucy

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The Haida language, Xaad Kil is dangerously close to extinction and in need of heroic action. The purpose of this study is to find out what ancient traditions and beliefs we could incorporate into our language revitalization efforts. Drawing on archival literature and community knowledge, I found almost 100 traditional ways to support Xaad Kil revitalization. There are four main chapters: Haida foods, Haida medicines, Haida rituals and ceremonies and Haida supernatural beings that could contribute to Xaad Kil revitalization. The food chapter features two-dozen traditional foods from salmon to berries that support a healthy lifestyle for Haida language speakers and that could strengthen our connections to the supernatural world. The Haida medicine chapter features two dozen traditional medicines from single-delight to salt water that could heal, strengthen and purify the Haida language learner. The ritual and ceremony chapter features over two-dozen rituals from devil’s club rituals to labret piercing ceremonies that could strengthen Haidas and our language learning. The supernatural being chapter features twenty-three supernatural beings including Greatest Crab and Lady Luck that could bring a language learner wealth, knowledge, luck and strength. This study suggests that a Xaad kil learner and the Xaad kil language need to be pure, protected, connected, lucky, strong, healthy, respected, loved and wise. The path to these qualities is within the traditions and beliefs featured in this research. This study is significant because it shows that the language revitalization answers are within and all around us.



language revitalization, Haida, Northwest Coast, indigenous, traditional food, traditional medicine, traditional healing, spirituality, supernatural, ritual, ceremony, First Nations, xaad kil, aboriginal, language isolate