You don’t necessarily have to be particularly perceptive to notice that Native American indigenous groups are on the decline in certain parts of the United States. Whether to through intermarriage or migration, a lot of indigenous communities have shrunk tremendously. In fact, if you look at many language groups in certain parts of Canada and in the United States, it seems that, among these clusters, only people aged 60 and above remain. This is a serious problem because regardless of how you define ethnic identity, whether it’s a language, collective culture, shared sense of history, or physiological features, by all accounts, many indigenous groups are under severe numerical downward pressure.
This begs the question of whether demographics is destiny. On paper, you might have a geographic region that says Nuxalk, but what does that really mean? It may mean that it was a historically
Nuxalk area, and it’s now populated by people who are anything but members of that linguistic group. This is the reality that many native indigenous peoples are facing, and the problem here is that there is no easy solution. It really all boils down to just coping.
Coping, once and for all, as you probably already know, it is very different from solving or resolving. Still, we have to deal with it at this level. We have to avoid being in denial and take it for what it is. So, considering the huge demographic change happening, how do we cope?