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WFN launches online program to revitalize the nsyilxcən language

The Westbank First Nation (WFN) will be launching an online language tutorial series for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – the first of its kind, according to WFN.

The program is an effort to revitalize the nsyilxcən language within their community and will feature 45 video tutorials that utilize the Paul Creek nsyilxcən curriculum.

“Our language is endangered and folks for generations have been working to keep our language, our identity, our source of who we are, alive,” says WFN Councillor Jordan Coble.

“As new tools are provided we must adapt to spark the interest of our people to engage with our language and experience the joy it brings.”

The program was made possible through a $100,000 grant from the First People’s Cultural Council through their Pathways to Language Vitality Program.

The funding helped support the development of materials, immersion programming, planning and community collaboration.

“We simply hope this resource can help spark your interest by creating a space safe and allow you to control your learning pace, and hopefully have a little fun learning,” notes Coble.

WFN acknowledges the work and dedication of Rachel Marchand, who has worked tirelessly over the past year to support and coordinate the development of the video series as well as the inclusion of language and culture within the WFN administration.

<who> Photo Credit: Westbank First Nation</who> WFN Councillor Jordan Coble in front of the Veterans Memorial by Smoker Marchand (2014), located at 1900 Quail Lane.

The program was initially meant to be taught in-person but due to the pandemic the curriculum was reworked into an online format.

Access and more information will be released on Sept. 30.

Students will be able to work online, at their own pace and on their own schedule with unlimited access to the lessons and resources.

WFN explains that the video resources are open to everyone to strengthen the language for all members and visitors to the website.

Besides this video series, other forms of nsyilxcən language learning include the syilx Language house and En'owkin Centre.

The University of British Columbia Okanagan, in partnership with Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and En’owkin Centre have created a four-year bachelor of nsyilxcən Language Fluency (BNLF) program led by WFN Member, Rose Caldwell.

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