Cafe

The revi­tal­iza­tion of Indige­nous lan­guages must seek to hap­pen in places out­side of a ‘class­room’ set­ting. The Skwomesh Lan­guage Acad­emy project oper­ates in dif­fer­ent places and spaces to accom­plish our goals.

The Squamish Lan­guage is nearly extinct.  The Squamish Nation’s pop­u­la­tion grows to past 4000 peo­ple soon, yet only 0.02% speak the lan­guage flu­ently.  The causes for its decline are numer­ous; assim­i­la­tion poli­cies by Cana­dian governments, disruption of tra­di­tional ways of being by Set­tler dom­i­na­tion in our lands, and the embrac­ing of Western-style edu­ca­tion meth­ods.  Even though the sit­u­a­tion is severe, we are com­mit­ted, ded­i­cated, and will be suc­cess­ful at learn­ing our lan­guages so we can share it with future generations.

The Squamish lan­guage is the tra­di­tional lan­guage of the Squamish peo­ple.  Our peo­ple have had pres­ence in our home­lands since time immemo­r­ial.  We come from pow­er­ful ances­tors who gained inspi­ra­tional, even super­nat­ural, gifts.  For the entire exis­tence as a peo­ple stretch­ing back gen­er­a­tions, we have been speak­ers of Skwxwú7mesh sníchim (Squamish lan­guage). Only recently has this been altered.

In our lan­guage car­ries the knowl­edge, wis­dom, and guid­ance of our ances­tors.  It defines whats impor­tant, and what is good.  It shows us what our cul­ture says about learn­ing and acquir­ing knowl­edge.  It describes things in such detail and beauty, we can­not help by feel the strength of our ances­tors by the more we learn of our lan­guage.  Our lan­guage is like an old-growth for­rest of the mind.

Learn more about our acad­emy project:

Acad­emy History

Lan­guage Status

Ter­ri­tory