Syilx Language House is a non-profit charitable society with the express purpose of creating N̓syilxčn̓ (Syilx, Salish, Okanagan) speakers in the Syilx Nation, recording our precious fluent Elders, forming an empowered speaking community, and running a language nest for toddlers & children with Ti Kʷu Ti X̌ilx Association.
Learning N̓syilxčn̓ is our act of reconciliation and resistance and strengthens our families, health of our communities, our youth, Syilx Nation, land-based knowledge, and expresses our title and rights. We do this for the people-to-be.
N̓syilxčn̓ is an Interior Salish language and is critically endangered with fewer than 40 fluent Elders remaining. The Syilx Nation stretches across the Interior Plateau from Revelstoke BC to northern Washington. There are seven Syilx Bands in Canada: Okanagan Indian Band OKIB, Westbank First Nation WFN, Penticton Indian Band PIB, Osoyoos Indian Band OIB, Lower Similkameen Indian Band LSIB, Upper Similkameen Indian Band USIB, Upper Nicola Indian Band UNIB. Syilx members in the U.S. are represented by the Colville Confederated Tribes CCT (WA), which has 12 tribes including five N̓syilxčn̓ speaking tribes, the Sinixt (Sn̓ʕay̓čkstx Arrow Lakes), Mətxʷu Methow, Nspil̓m̓ Nespilem, Sn̓pʕaw̓ilx Sanpoil, and Sx̌ʷy̓iłp Colville nation members.
NORTHERN CELEBRATING SALISH CONFERENCE 2nd Annual - Cancelled due to COVID19 - April, 2020 UBC-O Ballroom UNC contact: email@example.com
Sʔímlaʔxʷ Michele Johnson PhD is Executive Director, lead activist and teacher. She is a member of Okanagan Indian Band, related to Simlas and Richters with Suyápix (Euro) ancestry. She is certified nłəqʷčin (high-intermediate) by Sʕamtíc̓aʔ Peterson and Chris Parkin of the Salish School of Spokane (Paul Creek). She spearheaded the "language house" model during her PhD in Indigenous language revitalization at UBC & post doctorate research at SFU. When not manifesting language, fundraising or tobogganing in N̓syilxčn̓ with toddlers she can be found hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing and playing guitar.
Səxʷt̓ums Krista Lindley is a graduate of SLH, and founder of Ti Kwu Ti Xilx Indigenous Association (TKI). She resides at WFN, has four children, is a member of OKIB and is a passionate language activist. She runs the language nest which delivers immersion to toddlers, teaches the adult fluency program and records fluent Elders for SLH.
St̓aʔqʷálqs Hailey Causton is a graduate of SLH, and founder of TKI. She is a WFN member, a dancer, performer, passionate language activist, skilled teacher and Elder recorder, and mother of two boys who will grow up to be fluent speakers. She is skilled in nest and adult lessons.
St̓k̓masq̓t Skye Fay is descended from UNIB ancestors. She recently moved to Syilx territory to study language and partner with SLH and TKI adult and nest programs. She is a passionate language learner and skilled facilitator of nest immersion.
Xatma Sqilxʷ Flynn Wetton is a graduate of SLH. He is a WFN member, skilled teacher and gifted teaching plant knowledge to children and adults in N̓syilxčn̓, and playing in the nest.
Qʷy̓qʷʕay̓áx̌n Levi Bent co-taught the adult program 2016-19 and was a full time Elder recorder in 2020. He is a member of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, resides near Penticton, is an advocate for language and culture and a performer, singer, dancer, artist and comedian in Syilx community.
Səxʷc̓ksqlaw̓m Carla Ohmenzetter is our Bookkeeper. She is of German ancestry and a committed member of our team. By keeping our financial records, she gifts us the space to focus on language.
Sk'awilx Sarah Alexis wasDirector of Communications, Development & Lobbying during 2017-18 until she was called away to complete her Masters degree. She is an OKIB member, a committed language learner, teacher, biologist, activist, and a protector of water and Syilx ways.
Board of Directors: C̓uc̓uʔasq̓t Pamela Barnes St̓aʔqʷálqs Hailey Causton C'ərtups Carmella Alexis Stxt̓am̓ Kim Kosik Pk̓am̓ Dustin Schmauder
Syilx Language House firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Mailing address 2872 Summerview Court Westbank BC Canada V2A 8N7 Please follow us on FaceBook
Immersion classes are held regularly in Westbank, and with partners at PIB and OIB. We welcome visitors and hold regular community events. Language classes currently held over ZOOM. Interested learners are encouraged to download N̓səlxčín 1 textbook and audio at www.interiorsalish.com.