Kwakiutl host conference

First Nation will play host to language revitalization conference this week.

PORT HARDY—The Kwakiutl First Nation will play host this week to a unique language revitalization conference jointly run by the University of Victoria and aboriginal stakeholders.

Alumas Watdamala will be held today and tomorrow at U’gwamalis Hall in Fort Rupert.

The conference, which will feature tradition welcome and blessing ceremonies, singing, and workshops on maintaining cultural ties through the preservation of aboriginal language, kicked off at 9 a.m. today and resumes at 8:45 a.m. Friday.

Keynote addresses the two days will be presented by Dr. Peter Jacobs of UVic’s Department of Linguistics and Dr. Michael Walsh of the University of Sydney in Australia, whose work has focused on the languages of the aboriginal peoples of Australia.

Local presenters include Kwakiutl band member Kaleb Child, an administrator with School District 85, and Sara Child, who teaches Kwak’wala at Port Hardy Secondary School and is program coordinator for the Kwak’wala/Bakwamk’ala language.