Prince William and Kate to deliver book written in rare native tongue to indigenous children.
At a Yukon event next week, the royal couple will distribute picture books written in Southern Tutchone, a threatened language. The children's book by author Mike Parkhill that has been translated into the indigenous language of Southern Tutchone.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will arrive in Canada next week bearing a simple gift that could go a long way toward helping preserve a threatened native language.
According to the most recent census data, only 200 or so people are able to speak Southern Tutchone, one of eight native tongues still in use by indigenous people in Yukon, where Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit next week.
The reality is more bleak. Members of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, near Whitehorse, say that only about 50 elders and less than a dozen younger people are capable of holding a conversation in the language. “It’s challenging because we do have fewer and fewer speakers. As time goes by, our elders are passing away too, so it’s a scary situation,” said Sean Smith, a band councillor.
During the royal couple’s visit to the city, in an event scheduled for Wednesday, they will be armed with a strong and symbolic message carried within the deceptively simple covers of a children’s book about William the Moose.
SIF native language children¹s books are funded by Prince¹s Charities, Canada as an extension of a FNEII project originally sponsored by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Aboriginal Languages Initiative.