The Chopaka Language House (2011)
Three videos from spəpƛ̓msalqʷ, the Chopaka, BC Nsyilxcn immersion house.
Our language, Nsyilxcn (Okanagan, Colville Okanagan, Interior Salish, nqilxʷcn) is, like most indigenous languages, severely threatened. There are only 150 remaining Nsyilxcn speakers, and most are elderly. Some of us have made a commitment to bring Nsyilxcn back into our lives. Five adult women lived in this immersion house for 5 months, studying Nsyilxcn 6 hours per day. These short films include footage in the house, studying, and our first of two language assessments. In them, we attempt to tell the Goldilocks story from memory, and as you'll see, our language markedly improves in each video.
Gratitude is extended to the Paul Creek Language Association (visit interiorsalish.com) and to our Elder Sʕamtíc̓aʔ (Sarah Peterson) who made this project possible. The films are produced by Sʔímlaʔxʷ Michele Johnson.
The Syilx Language House program was made to happen on account of the Chopaka experience and several of the participants are now involved as co-teachers and students at the Syilx Language House.