Congratulations to sixteen students and teachers for achievement of the FIRST YEAR of language classes. It has been a phenomenal year, the first of four. 400 hours down, 1,200 to go! Thank you to Elders, community, and leadership for supporting our journey. The Elders who heard the students are proud, and we know the ancestors would be too. Students gave presentations on the life cycles of tmixʷ, animals, birds and insects. We can't thank enough the supporters and families ... Salish School of Spokane, Paul Creek, Penticton Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, Westbank First Nation, Okanagan Indian Band, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Simon Fraser University,First Peoples' Cultural Council. Thank you MP Dick Cannings for representing the Federal Government. It has been a week with losses and deep sadness in Syilx community and our graduation day this week was a glimmer of happiness reflected by the lived experience of decolonizing healing through language. Chief John Kruger said "keep going!" Watch out for the class of 2020 ... The 2020 plan and 2030 plan are underway ... limləmt p isnəqsílxʷ. iʔ nqilxʷcntət iʔ mrimstntət.
We are grateful to Okanagan College in Penticton for loaning us a classroom today ... kʷu kʷułntməlx iʔ sn̓m̓aʔm̓áy̓aʔtn ʕapnáʔ sx̌əlx̌ʕalt...and the Dean for welcoming us. It happened to be a day with a smaller group and a lot of Nsyilxcn 2 grammar. We made good use of the wall sized whiteboard. The atmosphere of intensive learning helped offset the headaches from the new grammar. The new Jim Pattison building is beautiful, state of the art, and a great place for nqilxʷcn. We are grateful for this amazing curriculum which continues to build our language proficiency every day, for the support from our communities, Penticton, Westbank, Osoyoos, and OKIB.
Two wonderful guests at the Language House. Smukaxen Pierre shared cultural protocols and supported us emotionally as sqilxʷ people. It is important to respect ourselves as individuals and support each other and our communities. X̌ʷnámx̌ʷnam Brandy Baptiste came and lifted us up ... language sisters sharing the same path. We are lucky and proud to be part of a strong community of hardworking sqilxʷ coming together to revitalize language.