Sharing Our Living Languages

Posted on July 4, 2014

Did you know that British Columbia is the most linguistically rich province in Canada for First Nations languages? Within BC you can hear 61 dialects of 34 languages, all part of 7 distinct language families that account for 60 percent of Canada’s First Nations languages.

Some would say, First Nations languages are “the voice of the land,” speaking to how people feel about the land, rivers, oceans, and the whole environment. For example, in the First Nation language ‘Sencoten’ the word for the “earth“ translates as “my wish”, with the possessive referring to the creator of all things. A “mountain“ is “my gift” and “islands“ are “my relatives of the deep.”

In this video Sekyu Siyam, Chief Ian Campbell – Hereditary Chief of the Squamish Nation, explains how the Squamish language relates to their territory and where it fits into Canada’s language landscape. If you are interested in learning more about the Squamish Nation and their culture and language, make sure you visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre the next time you are in Whistler.

We are planning to share special language features every week. Get notified of when we post by Liking our Facebook page or by subscribing to our YouTube channel and watch for posts with #OurLivingLanguages.

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