CBC Victoria’s radio program All Points West is currently hosting a series exploring Indigenous language projects on Vancouver Island. Kathryn Marlow, the host of All Points West, has been interviewing members of First Nations communities on the Island about the work being done to revitalize their languages.
Many of the community members that took part in the series are dedicated to developing language programs and initiatives supported by FPCC. The first episode features FPCC Language Coach TE,LI,MET,ȾTEN Glenn Jim sharing about what language revitalization means and an overview of the languages from the Island.
Thank you to the All Points West staff, community members and to all who contributed to this series for sharing the dedicated work being done to revitalize First Nations languages!
CBC journalist Kathryn Marlow published a summary of this series in an online article: Revitalizing Vancouver Island’s Indigenous languages – Indigenous people from across Vancouver Island are striving to ensure their languages live on through fluent speakers.
To listen to the series and learn more about these community-led initiatives, take a look at the segments below and click here to find all the interview recordings.
Episode 1: One is sleeping, many are reawakening – January 20, 2021
The series kicked off with an episode that interviewed one of FPCC’s Language Revitalization Coaches, TE,LI,MET,ȾTEN Glenn Jim, who is W̱SÁNEĆ from W̱SÍKEM (Tseycum) First Nation in North Saanich. Glenn spoke about what language revitalization means and the work that is being done by Indigenous communities and FPCC on Vancouver Island and B.C.
FPCC Language Revitalization Coaches support First Nation communities and organizations in B.C to build their language revitalization initiatives through strategic language planning and offer ongoing project support to all FPCC language grant recipients. For more information visit our Community Outreach page on our website.
Episode 2: Creating new SENĆOŦEN words to reflect modern life – January 27, 2021
Renée Sampson, SENĆOŦEN Program Facilitator for the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board, discussed the work that Elders, immersion teachers and community members are doing to create new SENĆOŦEN words. The newly created words can be used in everyday conversation and academic contexts, rooted in a W̱SÁNEĆ worldview.
Supported through the B.C. Language Initiative, the W̱SÁNEĆ community is developing books and materials for SENĆOŦEN immersion programs to be used in their school. This includes the digitization and publishing of storybooks and transcribing and translating oral history to create a digital dictionary. The community also hopes to bring their language revitalization efforts to the land through incorporating language through Tribal Journeys.
Episode 3: Revitalizing Kwak̓wala on traditional territory at the Nawalakw Cultural Centre – February 3, 2021
Deanna Nicolson is the Language Programs Director at Nawalakw. In this episode, Deanna spoke to the work being done to revitalize Kwak̓wala through the social venture Nawalakw. Nawalakw is a world-class eco-tourism lodge on the Hada River estuary that has been created to deliver traditional healing and educational programs for the community.
Nawalakw has been supported through the Indigenous Languages Grant to deliver language and cultural programs for youth and the Indigenous community at large. Participants learn from Elders and language facilitators on the land, creating an opportunity to connect with their territory.
Episode 4: Revitalizing Ayajuthum in the K’omoks, Homalco, Tla’amin, and Klahoose First Nations – February 10, 2021
Jacqueline Mathieu spoke to the work she is doing as the Language Director for Klahoose First Nation. She also discussed the ties her community has to the sister nations of K’omoks, Homalco and Tla’amin in working together to revitalize Éy7á7juuthem.
The Klahoose First Nation language revitalization projects have been supported through FirstVoices, Digitization Grant and Indigenous Languages Grant.
Through the Indigenous Languages Grant, the Klahoose community documented early traditional life by producing language learning resources, archival records and transcribing conversations with Elders sharing stories of traditional activities.
Episode 5: Waking up the ‘sleeping’ Pentlatch language – February 18, 2021
Jesse Recalma is a member of the Qualicum First Nation and is working to revive Pəntl’áč. In this episode, Jesse discussed why Pəntl’áč is currently sleeping and has no fluent speakers. To awaken this sleeping language, Jesse is working with community members to revive the language by looking at written documentation and comparing it to similar languages in neighbouring communities.
Episode 6: ‘Community context’ part of Nuu chah nuulth learning process – February 24, 2021
Victoria Wells, a member of the Ehattesaht First Nation and founding member of Quuquuatsa Language Society, discusses the Indigenous language projects underway to revitalize nuučaan̓uɫ. Victoria shared that over the last eight years, the Quuquuatsa Language Society has supported approximately 400 adults to learn their language through the 40 available language courses. She also highlighted that the Ehattesaht First Nation has had an increase of language learners from 15 learners to most recently having 69 learners.
The Ehattesaht First Nation has been supported through the B.C. Language Initiative, Indigenous Languages Grant and FirstVoices.
Through the Indigenous Languages Grant, the community has documented language data to create language learning handbooks and community facilitator guides available in a digital format. The language learning books include stories, images, videos, sound and methodologies.
Episode 7: Sharing Hul’q’umi’num across generations – March 3, 2021
In this episode, Dolly Sylvester and Charlie Coleman discussed the work that the Cowichan Valley School District is doing to revitalize Hul’q’umi’num’, increase understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing and share the true history of this land. Dolly is a member of Cowichan Tribes and is the District Elder and Knowledge Keeper for Indigenous Education at the Cowichan Valley School District and Charlie Coleman is the district Principal for Indigenous Education.
Cowichan Tribes Indigenous language projects have been supported through the Language Nest Program and B.C. Language Initiative.
Supported through the B.C. Language Initiative, the community has implemented a Hul’q’umi’num immersion program over a three-year curriculum at the Lelum’uy’lh Daycare Centre for a Junior Kindergarten class and continuing at Quwùtsun Smuneem in a Kindergarten class and Grade 1 class.
Episode 8: diitiidʔaaʔtx educators use movement, ASL to reinforce language lessons – March 12, 2021
Sarah Tom and Pat Patterson, both members of the Ditidaht First Nation working at the Ditidaht School as a Language Instructors, spoke to the affects that colonization has had on language learning and shared about their journeys on revitalizing the diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ language.
The Ditidaht Community School has been supported by the B.C. Language Initiative and Indigenous Languages Grant, and the Ditidaht First Nation has been supported by FirstVoices and the Language Nest Program.
Through the Indigenous Languages Grant, the community school has developed online language learning courses for adults who live off-reserve or those who are uncomfortable in a classroom setting. They have produced voice recordings, writing materials and video lessons, and built a learning management system to host materials online.
Episode 9: Tla-o-qui-aht brothers create songs to help teach their language – March 17, 2021
Tim Masso and Hjalmer Wenstob are brothers from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation who have been working together to revitalize Nuu-chah-nulth through creating songs and traditional regalia and art. They spoke to the importance of uniting arts and culture with language when working towards revitalizing Indigenous languages.
Through the B.C. Language Initiative, the community has worked on Indigenous language projects such as creating a Tla-o-qui-aht language reference library, documenting language through recording, archiving and transcribing materials and creating language resources and teaching tools for the community.
Episode 10: A language journey from kwak’wala to Hul’q’umi’num’ – March 24, 2021
Ted Cadwallader is the Director of Instruction and Indigenous Learning at Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools. In this episode, Ted highlighted the importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action in elevating the work of Indigenous language revitalization within public schools. Ted shared that the district he works for has seven Hul’q’umi’num’ Language Teachers spread across 28 schools.
The district co-governs the Quam Qwum Stuwixwulh Community School with the Snuneymuxw First Nation. The community has been supported by the B.C. Language Initiative to develop Hul’q’umi’num’ language immersion materials for weekly language lessons with the goal of increasing connections with the land and culture.
Episode 11: Making a place for Ayajuthum in Campbell River – March 31, 2021
In this episode, Marilyn Harry and her daughter Jennifer Harry from the Homalco First Nation talked about the work the community is doing to revitalize Éy7á7juuthem, and more specifically shared about their family’s journey in revitalizing the language. Marilyn Harry is the Language Coordinator for the Homalco First Nation and Jennifer Harry teaches language and culture in the Campbell River School District.
The Homalco First Nation has been supported through the B.C. Language Initiative, Language Nest Program and FirstVoices.
Through the B.C. Language Initiative, the community is partnering with neighbouring Éy7á7juuthem speaking communities to host seasonal language immersion camps including traditional teachings of harvesting, processing and distribution as well as song and storytelling.
Episode 12: Using old recordings to bring new life to Ayajuthum – April 14, 2021
Malachi Joseph from the Homalco First Nation and Koosen Pielle from the Tla’amin First Nation are working to revitalize Éy7á7juuthem through many community-led initiatives. They are working with the Raven FM 100.7 radio station where a ‘word of the day’ in Éy7á7juuthem is featured. They are also working to digitize CD and cassette tapes dating back to the 1970’s and 2007 to revive oral traditions.
Episode 13: Hesquiaht Elders who are fluent Nuu-chah-nulth speakers, on the importance of sharing their language with younger generations – April 23, 2021
Overcoming the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hesquiaht Elders are meeting with language learners multiple times a week through Zoom to speak Nuu-chah-nulth together, learn from one another and review archival tapes. Roman Frank, Patti Frank and Julia Lucas shared stories of how the language has been kept alive through the generations. Roman Frank spoke to the connection between language and our world view.
The Hesquiaht First Nation has been supported by the B.C. Language Initiative, Indigenous Languages Grants, Digitization Grant and FirstVoices.
Supported through the Indigenous Languages Grants, the community has created opportunities for beginner-level and higher-level language learners to learn Nuu-chah-nulth through gatherings and language immersion camps with guidance from Elders.
Episode 14: How Tseshaht language learners practice “staying in the language,” so they can spread fluency into the community – May 5, 2021
In this episode, Dawn Foxcroft discussed the ways in which the Tseshaht First Nation is working to revitalize the Nuu-chah-nulth language and how the community is “staying in the language.” Through their online classes, emphasis is placed on teaching strategies and activities to bring the language out of the classroom and into the community and home.
Want to Be Featured?
If you are interested in sharing about the Indigenous language projects in your community and want to be featured on CBC All Points West with Kathryn Marlow, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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