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Why do we fight the evolution of culture?

May 2, 2010

CanWest news had an article yesterday about Native Languages.  Specifically, the article discusses the rapid disappearance of native languages in British Columbia.  BC even has a crown corporation to prevent this loss,”First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Culture Council”.

I don’t understand this.  Cultures evolve with features lost and gained, sometimes slowly and sometimes with abrupt transitions.  Cultural characteristics are maintained by people who live them.  If no one uses a language on a regular basis, it will eventually disappear.  It has happened before and will happen again.  With the “shrinking” of the world via rapid transportation and the internet, it is inevitable that there will be fewer languages with each used by more people.

One argument for government involvement in resurrecting the native languages is that the loss of fluency was forced on children in residential schools.  I suspect that this sped up a process which would have happened eventually.

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