Since the beginning of “settlization” (the condition that exists when people enter a foreign land to create their own society, as coined and defined by me) indigenous languages have been forced from use and existence. This is true for the indigenous of the Americas and those of Australia.
A survey was conducted by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies on the level of existences in indigenous languages. According to the survey, in 2005 there were 145 indigenous languages spoken, today there are only 120.
The Australian school system is now trying to revive the languages and teach them to youth in order to counter act the diminishing numbers. Many in Australia believe that enforcing these languages will bring ‘value’, cultural identity and ‘self-esteem’ amongst the Indigenous youth.
If the United States began doing the same throughout local schools the native youth would have the same outcome.
Many indigenous youth have had their identities taken from them in schools, churches and society in the Americas and Australia; being able to give them support and stability through their indigenous languages is a huge step for the Australian government. It should be the next step for the United States, but when?