Learning N̓syilxčn̓ is our act of reconciliation and resistance. We focus on language, professionalism, kindness, and our deep sqilxʷ teachings. Our mission is to create new fluent N̓syilxčn̓ (Syilx, Salish, Okanagan, N̓səl̓xčin̓) speakers in the Syilx Nation. We do this by providing a safe environment, 1,600 hours of sequenced immersion with trained teachers, world-class curriculum, exercises, professionalism, lateral kindness, and a community learning environment. We record our precious fluent Elders and share the recordings each year in a publication. We form an empowered speaking community, partner with an immersion nest for toddlers & children Ti Kʷu Ti X̌ilx Association, and strengthen language in our partner organizations and schools. Syilx Language House is a non-profit charitable society.
We do this for the people-to-be and because it needed doing. Our language strengthens our families, the health of our communities, our youth, Syilx Nation, land-based knowledge, and expresses our title and rights.
N̓syilxčn̓ is an Interior Salish language and is critically endangered with fewer than 40 fluent Elders remaining, and only a few handfuls of intermediate-advanced speakers. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sʔím̓laʔxʷ Michele Johnson PhD is Executive Director, lead activist and teacher. She is a member of Okanagan Indian Band, related to Simlas and Richters with Syilx and Suyápix (Euro) ancestry. She is certified n̓łəqʷčin̓ (high-intermediate) by Sʕam̓tíc̓aʔ Peterson and Chris Parkin of the Salish School of Spokane (Paul Creek). She spearheaded the n̓ql̓xʷčn̓iłxʷ "language house" model during her PhD & post doctorate research in Indigenous language revitalization at UBC and 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.
K̓aʔčnítkʷ Rachel Ritchot is a certified teacher and intermediate speaker. She is a member of the Lillooet Nation and a passionate language advocate and teacher. She is a full time teacher of the adult cohort and leads the in-school and daycare partnerships.
Skəkm̓xísaʔt Sofia Terbasket-Funmaker is an LSIB member and a passionate language activist. She is a full time teacher with the adult cohort at SLH and was leader of outdoor immersion games with the SLH and TKTX partnership nest (until Covid).
St̓k̓masq̓t Skye Fay is descended from UNIB ancestors. She moved to Syilx territory a year ago to study language with SLH and the TKTX partnership. She is a passionate language learner and skilled facilitator of adult classes and home based learning.
Swʕaʔ Kylie Jack is a PIB member and a wonderful addition to the teaching team. She has learned and taught N1 and C1, and assisted in the TKTX partnership nest (until Covid).
Stsaqwm' Rosalyn Wilson is our teaching assistant and assistant with Elder recordings, audio editing and publication.
16 ntłtłčin̓ adult cohort learners: Čplałq, Lɣmin̓, LŁílaʔt, K̓młníw̓t, K̓sasq̓t, My̓ilxʷ, Pixʷ Skʷkʷusn̓t, Skayú, Skʷkʷʔiłp, Sm̓x̌ikn̓, Sqʷay̓tálqs, Sultətkʷ, Tulmn̓, Wíklaʔxʷ, Xʷacú, Skʷlal̓. These 16 courageous learners have committed to 550 hours over zoom from April 6 2021 to April 7, 2022. n̓tłtłčin̓ means a little bit fluent.
Sm̓x̌ikn̓ Sharon Jack is our Bookkeeper. She is an OIB member and a committed member of our team. By keeping our financial records, she gifts us the space to focus on language.
Xatma Sqilxʷ Jasmine Peone 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 is a graduate of SLH. He 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.
Sk̓awílx 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 Swʕaʔ Kylie Jack C'ərtups Carmella Alexis Stxt̓am̓ Kim Kosik Pk̓am̓ Dustin Schmauder
Syilx Language House email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.