Title: From generation to generation: Survival and maintenance of Canada's Aboriginal languages, within families, communities and cities
Author(s): Mary Jane Norris, Lorna Jantzen
Abstract: This paper explores the survival and maintenance of Aboriginal languages in Canada from demographic and geographic perspectives focusing on the critical factor of language transmission from one generation to another within the context of family and community. The paper also considers the challenges of language maintenance outside of Aboriginal communities within cities. Using Statistics Canada data from the 1981 to 1996 Censuses, along with some updated data from the 2001 Census, it provides an overview and classification of endangered and viable Aboriginal languages, with demographic measures of language use, population size and average age of speakers. Factors affecting language survival and maintenance are explored, including effects of intermarriage, family structure and gender (e.g. lone parents) and the transition from youth into family formation and labour force entry.