Halkomelem is spoken in unceded territories of First Nations people, but with less than 10% of people who self identify as First Nation speaking their mother tongue.
This is due to forced assimilation begun in 1880s and intensified in 1920s. Many children were forced to go to residential schools, or else their parents would be imprisoned.
In most cases, the caretakers of these schools were Christian, and forcibly instructed these children on being "civilized" based on colonialist ideology regarding Christian civilization.
However, uncivil methods were used to implement said civilization which has led to chronic alcoholism and drug abuse among survivors of the residential school system which continue to this day.
It may also be why among homeless populations in BC, people of First Nations and Metis extraction predominate, even though the majority of homeless people are descendants of European ancestry (Canadian-born Europeans).
Today there is a process of reconciliation happening in BC. However, the apology of Canada to the First Nations people is inadequate since there is still discrimination against them.
As well, the systemic violence endured in residential schools has effect generational ritual child abuse and neglect which slowly being addressed today.
Even aboriginal children who were thoroughly assimilated into adopted Canadian-born European families are at-risk to drug abuse due to unacknowledged feelings of loss and the current alienation experienced by strangers ignorant of their past.
Reconciliation is necessary for all First Nations people to make peace with the past and move ahead in this world. #FirstNations #Halkomelem #reconciliation