As Syilx people, located within the Syilx Nation, learning N̓syilxčn̓ is our act of reconciliation and resistance. Our mission is to create new fluent N̓syilxčn̓ (Syilx, Salish, Okanagan, N̓səl̓xčin̓) speakers in the Syilx Nation, record Elders, provide a safe learning environment, act with professionalism, lateral kindness, and reflect our deep sqilxʷ teachings. We provide 1,600 hours of sequenced immersion with trained teachers, world-class curriculum, and a community learning environment. We record our precious fluent Elders and publish the recordings each year, shared on this website. Our empowered speaking community partners with Salish School of Spokane, the OIB Language House, local schools, and Ti Kʷu Ti X̌ilx Association, an immersion nest for toddlers & children. Syilx Language House is a grassroots non-profit charitable society, supported by Syilx communities to carry on the work of language revitalization for the people-to-be. 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, 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 six N̓syilxčn̓ speaking tribes, the Sʔukʷnaqinx (Okanagan), Sn̓ʕay̓čkstx (Sinixt / Arrow Lakes), Mətxʷu (Methow), Nspil̓m̓ (Nespelem), 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.
Stsaqwm' Rosalyn Wilson is our teaching assistant and manager of the Elder recordings team, audio editing and publication.
Lɣmin Lance Hilderbrand is an Okanagan/Sinixt Colville member from Omak and is our technology specialist. Lɣmin conducts recording sessions with fluent Elders and keeps our tech up to date.
Sqʷy̓tal̓qs Angie Pinchbeck is a Penticton Indian Band community member and a recording technician. She is conducting recording sessions with her grandfather, Thomas Pierre, a fluent Elder.
9 n̓tłtłčin̓ adult cohort learners: Lɣmin̓, Łílaʔt, K̓młníw̓t, Pixʷ Skʷkʷusn̓t, Skayú, Sm̓x̌ikn̓, Sqʷay̓tálqs, Sultətkʷ, Xʷačú. 9 courageous learners from across Syilx territory committed 550 hours over zoom from April 6 2021 to April 7, 2022. n̓tłtłčin̓ means a little bit fluent. Last year̓s learners included Čplałq, K̓sasq̓t, My̓ilxʷ, Skʷkʷʔiłp, Tulmn̓, Wíklaʔxʷ, Skʷlal̓.
Tracey Schwartz CPA is our Bookkeeper. She is a committed member of our team. By keeping our financial records, she gifts us the space to focus on language.
Last year's student teachers: 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). 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 Stxt̓am̓ Kim Kosik Pk̓am̓ Dustin Schmauder
Syilx Language House email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing address PO Box 23034 Vernon BC Canada V1T 9L8 Please follow us on FaceBook
Immersion classes are held regularly on Zoom. We welcome visitors and hold regular community events. Interested learners are encouraged to contact us and to download N̓səlxčín 1 textbook and audio at www.interiorsalish.com.