Inuit children at boarding school. The sign on the wall behind them reads, “Please do not speak Eskimo.” (1914)
This reminds me of how whole sects of complex Inuktitut dialects were wiped out by Euro settlers. There were hundreds of different and diverse dialects in Canadian Inuktitut languages alone, and a chunk of that was wiped out during early 20th century. That language is already on the brink of collapse (only 35,000 or so now loosely speak it).
They also took away not just their language, but their surnames, and replaced them with ID-numbers. As if taking their children and capturing them into residential schools (where they were systematically gaslighted, sexually abused and experimented on the regular) wasn’t enough, an Inuit child’s name was legit changed to something like “Annie E7-121.”
Prohibiting people from speaking their native languages is such a horrible, sinister form of oppression. And it still happens all the damn time.