The Tahltan language is Na-Dene (or Athapaskan) and is typically grouped with Tagish and Kaska as distinct dialects within a single language family. Tahltan, like all Na-Dene languages, is based in oral tradition. That means that historically it was taught and learned almost exclusively through oral communication such as dialogue, story, song and dance. It is only recently that a formal Tahltan system of writing has been developed.
The development of the Tahltan writing system is an important milestone in the history of our language and culture. Like other Indigenous languages throughout British Columbia and Canada, Tahltan faces a great risk of extinction. The ability of new generations of Tahltans to learn Tahltan through experiential, visual and Western techniques is important to ensure it is preserved for the future.
A major effort to revitalize the language is now underway.