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Despite challenges, Syilx Nation language students celebrate graduation – Vernon Morning Star
by ahnationtalk onJune 30, 202044 Views
Students learning Nsyilxcn, a critically endangered Indigenous language, are celebrating graduation
Jun. 30, 2020
The Nsyilxcn language will continue to be preserved, thanks to a dedicated group of Syilx Nation language students.
Despite not being able to attend class in person over the past few months, the students hunkered down, applied themselves and this week will graduate from their seven month course, over Zoom.
Nsyilxcn (Salish, Okanagan), the Nation explained, is a critically endangered language. There are fewer than 100 fluent speakers in the entire Syilx Nation, and many efforts are being made to revitalize the language. The Nation is a large territory stretching roughly from Revelstoke to Merritt, and from Arrow Lakes to Spokane.
The group of students, which started learning at the Westbank Youth Centre in Westbank First Nation in November, were faced with challenges when COVID-19 hit. However Sʔímlaʔxʷ Michele Johnson, executive director of the Syilx Language House, explained that the switch from in-person classes to Zoom classes, was seamless.