Cascadia Resilience Network

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chinook jargon revival

Chinook jargon is the trade language of the Pacific Northwest. It is composed of influences from English and French, however most of the language is driven my influences from various indigenous dialects. From the 1850s to about 1900 Chinook Jargon was primary language spoken many inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest. We hope to support the revival of this language and take the Gaelic revival in Ireland as a model for how this might be accomplished. Apart from its potential to allow residents of the Cascadia bioregion to assert their cultural sovereignty from the homogeneous capitalist, settler-colonial culture of the broader continent of North America the revival of this tongue also have other potential benefits. For one thing it may allows humans to develop a closer relationship with nature. Many native languages are verb rather than noun based and so allow the speaker to view the world as a living, dynamic thing ala the theory of linguistic relativity.

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