The Gitxsan people are located inland along the Skeena River and towards the Nass River. Our traditional territory is approximately 33,000 square kilometers. Sim Algyax is spoken by the Gitxsan, the Nisga'a, and the Tsimshian.
The Gitxsan people speak Sim Algyax. The language is referred to as Gitxsanimx or Gitksenimx. Sim Algyax is the language family that is spoken amongst the people all up and down the Skeena River and in the Nass Valley. There are two main dialects in Gitxsan Sim Algyax, Geenix and Gyeets - eastern and western or upriver and downriver.
Target Demographic for Language Learners
Fishman's 8 Stage Scale for Reverse Language Shift
Also known as Fishman's Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale. This tool is an evaluation framework used to better understand how to effectively work with endangered languages based on the health of the language. It was developed by Joshua Fishman, a linguist and activist for endangered languages. Although this evaluation framework is not new, it continues to serve as an important framework for evaluating the health of endangered languages.
This theory is an 8-Stage Scale. Stage 8 being the most threatened stage for a language and 1 being the healthiest stage for a language (ie. English). Most First Nation's languages fit in stages 5-8. Therefore, Stages 1-4 will be left out of the following summary.
Based on where the Status of the Gitxsan Language, being a level 7 or 8 on the scale. Our efforts should be focussed on Gitxsan language is sitting our strategies for Gitxsanimx Language Revitalization should focus on Bringing the Language into the Home, Creating Second Language Speakers, and Strengthening the Bonds Between Existing Speakers and Learners.
So given the state of our language, what does a language strategy look like? Click the image to download a copy of the Gigyeets Sim Algyax Language Strategy.
Click the image to download the Gigyeets Language Strategy. Please email GitxsanLanguage@gmail.com to learn more about our language strategy.