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The authors of this text are Tait, Henry and Loewen-Walker. They are Canadian authors who has several years of writing and sharing knowledge to create a difference in the community. In this text they have discussed about culture and Language perceived as the first determinants of the first nation. This book is relevant to the people who are interested in learning culture and language. The authors argues that when it is possible or convenient for them, they provide data in the text as well as the names of the distinct groups or the communities. The book starts by arguing that culture is adaptive and dynamic system whereby it can be learned, shared as well as transmitted to generations and can be reflected through values or symbols of life. The language is said to be the conveyor of culture meaning that it is the means by which skills, knowledge and values are expressed.
The authors informs us from the text that there exists linguistic and cultural differences as well as differences in colonization, economic status and general health, there is one experience which is shared by all the aboriginal people and this is “erosion of culture and languages” .Through colonization, the aboriginal people from Canada have lost their language and culture slowly. The authors however argue that the early years of a child are the best times for learning and absorbing culture and language from the parent, families as well as the community. Therefore, the book highlights that it is important for the parents to make an investment in the early childhood development program which incorporates language and culture. This will serve a great role in improving health outcomes of the children as they grow up. The authors also suggests integration of the culture and language in the clinical settings tie improve the well-being of the aboriginal people.
Can Culture and language be maintained within the aboriginal groups?
From the text, it is clear that aboriginal people can maintain culture and language despite the colonial policies which are imposed with the aim of assimilating the aboriginal people. The authors also argues that language and culture acts as the healing sources within the families, communities and individuals. The Inuit, First Nations and Metis people have continued to participate in cultural activities and maintains their language. Among these groups there are statistics provided of the people who have continued participating in cultural activities. For instance, 43% of first nations, 33% of Metis and 54% of Inuit were found to participate in the cultural activities which were held in the year 2006.
Inuit are the people who participates highly in the cultural activities. For example according to 2012 statistics, the 74% of the Inuit group were found to have participated in various cultural activities such as fishing, trapping, hunting, and gathering wild animals among others. Census has shown that there exists more than 60 aboriginal languages across Canada and has been grouped accordingly. Despite this diversity of languages in Canada, the authors says that most of them are not in use and some are in danger of extinction. Children grow having a high fluency of speaking their mother language which however changes when they move to urban whereby they have to speak the other languages used there. The research shows that one kid out of six is able to speak aboriginal language. To answer the question we realize that the aboriginal people are able to practice and maintain their culture. However, it is hard for them to maintain or speak their language due to various factors. The authors offers the solution of ensuring children learns their culture as well as the language while they are young.
Tait, C.L., Henry, R. & Loewen-Walker, R. (2013). Child Welfare: A Social determinant of health for Canadian First Nations and Metis children. Pimatisiwin. 11(1). 39-53.