Our Language Was Always a Spoken Language
Talking about oral history, Indigenous voices, and language.
Oral history, Indigenous voices, and language.
Oral traditions have been one of the primary ways that Indigenous People have shared their cultures and passed their histories from one generation to the next. Indigenous cultural traditions and practices have been shared in collective settings where people gather in relation to each other, nature and other living beings. This excerpt shared from Taijah Abotassaway’s oral history highlights that language was a central part of Indigenous culture. Unlike Western languages, Indigenous languages were shared through an oral tradition of storytelling that was very community-centred. Taijah reflects on the fact that the languages of Indigenous Peoples are the original languages of this land. She is disheartened that this important part of our history is constantly threatened with erasure, as a result of hundreds of years of colonialism, discrimination and oppression of Indigenous Peoples, their culture and traditions. Taijah is grateful for the leadership of Toronto Council Fire in this area, working to support Indigenous community members to re-learn their histories, languages and practices. Council Fire serves as a constant pillar to ensure that Indigenous issues and history are remembered, celebrated and protected in Regent Park and beyond.