|Haida Native Language|
There were two major dialect groups: Northern and Southern Haida. The Northern Haida had two sub dialects: Alaskan or Kaigani Haida and Masset Haida. The Southern Haida sub dialects were Skidegate and Ninstints. The Ninstints is extinct while the other three survived but there are a small number of fluent and knowledgeable speakers.
Due to the encounter with the Europeans and the spread of smallpox, it hurt the Haida population who received the worst of the smallpox disease. The result was two Haida villages on Queen Charlotte Island (Masset and Skidegate) and one in Alaska (Hydaburg). The language was basis of Northern Northwest Coast trade jargon. This jargon began with earliest traders on the coast who recorded and passed on lists of Haida words. However, the language was not respected by whites. With the constant encounters with different European groups, it contributed a lot for the fate of the Haida language because the problems made changes to the Haida culture.
The first blow to Haida language was when Haida children were sent away to residential schools. These schools strictly enforced policy that only English was the spoken language. The second blow to the language was "linguistic suicide." In 1930 in Massey, some households adopted a policy of only using English when speaking to children. In present day, between the ages of 70 to 80, the language is simplified. Between ages 50 to 70, they have a comprehension but are non speakers and below 50 have no understanding of the language.
The language of any culture is important to study or research because it makes that culture unique. There are a lot of external and internal factors that can contribute to the harm or benefit of a groups language. No groups language should die out or not be recorded because it doesn't allow the culture to be unique or have a specific form of history.
Haida Native Language: http://urbanrez.ca/rae/ravens-and-eagles-21.html
Haida Syntax by John Enrico