Nsyilxcn Revitalization and Documentation (Year 2)

The Nsyilxcn (Syilx Okanagan Interior Salish) language is critically endangered; fewer than fifty Elder speakers remain, no young people are learning at home and no effective school programs. Syilx people are highly invested in creating language opportunities, including teaching positions in schools, daycares, and adult programs, however no young speakers exist to staff them. Questions arise: how can we make Nsyilxcn language transmission more effective? What are the barriers to success, including linguistic, methodological, organizational, and community capacity challenges? The Syilx Language House Association endeavors to train Syilx youth to become language speakers, using cutting edge acquisition techniques. This research project is a second-year continuation of the lead researcher’s PhD and post-doctorate research in which five low-intermediate speakers were created through an intensive “Language House” model. This field is of great interest to First Nations Education, applied linguistics, as well as deeply valuable to First Nation community.

Faculty Supervisor:

Marianne Ignace


Michele Johnson


Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation


Languages and linguistics


Management of companies and enterprises


Simon Fraser University



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