The Comeback — The Return of Vancouver’s Indigenous Language

The Comeback Campaign

Crowdfund the Return of an Indigenous Language of Vancouver

Fund the return of Vancouver’s Indigenous Languages.

Bankroll the making of new Squamish Language speakers. Use your resources to make a young person’s dream come true to become a fluent speaker of their heritage language.

When you give to this campaign, you will sponsor tuition and cost of living expenses for students in financial need accepted in the 2nd cohort of the Adult Immersion Program in the Squamish Language at SFU.

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement donated $8,000 of matching funds. As of July 15th, 2017 we raised $8,000 from donations to bring us to $16,000. We’re extending our goal to $24,000 because people want to keep giving. If we raise $24,000, we’ll be able to build more scholarships for students in the program.


(*Note: If subtitles don’t show, click on CC*)


What is the vision?

Indigenous languages are integral to Indigenous rights, identity, and community. You might hear reports after reports of Indigenous communities struggling. Our community believes for us to be a happy, healthy community again, we need the language back. It was taken away, but we’re ready for the comeback. It’s only when our language is back will we be free, healthy, and thriving once again!

By contributing to this campaign, you’re helping transform a community. You’re helping improve the lives of families, young people, and the children yet to come.

We only need forty more donations of $200 to meet our goal of $24,000. A $200 donation pays for one week of full-time instruction for a student.  The SFU Vancity Office for Community Engagement has matched up to $8,000 but you can help us reach our goal!

If $200 is not doable, feel free to donate any amount that works for you.

Why is this project important?

We’ve been working hard at increasing the number of speakers in our community. Less than a year ago, there were only 7 second-language speakers of the Squamish Language. Today there are now fourteen more.  Graduates of the language immersion program tell us that their lives have been transformed by learning the language of their elders and ancestors.  We are working with SFU to expand the language program and create a generation of second language speakers who can teach their children the language, so it continues for generations to come.

Temstl’í7 ta Sníchim (Squamish language adult immersion program) launched in September 2016 through a partnership with Simon Fraser University (SFU) with the goal to grow the number of speakers from 7 to 157 by 2027. We have students ready to take the program. The only barrier they face in realizing their goal of learning Sḵwx̱wú7mesh is financial. Through this campaign, we hope to raise funds to make the language program accessible to students in financial need.

Who are we?

Kwi Awt Stelmexw is an arts & education organization founded in 2015 by members of the Squamish Nation. The phrase “kwi aw̓t stélmexw” means “the future generations” in the Squamish Language. Our mandate is to be a platform for growing the artistic and linguistic aspirations of the Squamish Peoples. In the past two years, we’ve offered training programs in arts & language education, materials development, and now cultural space development.

A board of directors governs Kwi Awt Stelmexw, the majority of whom are Squamish Nation members. Kwi Awt Stelmexw employs five Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and two Xwelítn (settlers).

What will your contributions support?

Your donation goes directly to helping Squamish students who are accepted into the language immersion program and require financial assistance (The Program is full-time, five days a week).

Funds raised will be used to cover: tuition costs and partial cost of living expenses such as rent, food, and class materials.

Our goal is to raise $24,000 through this campaign.Up to $8,000 of funds will be matched by SFU Vancity’s Office of Community Engagement for $16,000 so we can provide to a student to cost of tuition and living expenses for one school year.
We’ve extended our goal to $24,000 to raise more. Additional funds will be used for more scholarships. Anything raised beyond our goal will be used to cover expenses for more students.
IMG_9567 We recently graduated 14 students from the program with a new group of 15 starting September 2017 at SFU.
IMG_0467 Students in the program become actual speakers of the Squamish Language able to have conversations by the year end.



(We can only accept Mastercard & VISA at this time. If you would like to receive a tax receipt, please contact us with the form below.)

$17,300 of $24,000 raised
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