“What the people do with the land defines who we are.”
“We either bring our languages back, or we die,” says Khelsilem, the founder of the Squamish Language Immersion Program at SFU. With Trudeau’s announcement of a National Indigenous Languages Act, and with today’s announcement of renaming National Aboriginal Day to National Indigenous Day, we think it’s a great day to consider directly supporting Indigenous projects — perhaps support the project whose land you are on!
Kwi Awt Stelmexw (KAS) is an independent Sḵwx̱wú7mesh art & education organization with a mandate to train, mentor, and create collaborative opportunities for Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people to strengthen artistic practices and knowledge. Working in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh communities, and in the City of Vancouver, KAS builds partnerships to create a vibrant, educated society of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh creatives. It is a unique model which melds the best of urban and Indigenous approaches. KAS has successfully launched a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language immersion program through Simon Fraser University, which at that time there were 10 fluent speakers of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim, but after eight months of the immersion program, there are now 14 more speakers. Fifteen Squamish students are registered to start the second offering of the immersion program in September 2017.
While this achievement is incredible, KAS sees a need to build a Squamish Language Centre to realize its language reclamation goals fully. And that is where you can become a partner!
Your donations will go towards supporting the development for our Language Centre — all leading to our cultural resurgence and language reclamation.
Support us to bring the Squamish language back to the present so it can continue to thrive long into the future.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BECOME A MONTHLY DONOR OR MAKE A ONE-TIME DONATION?
If you need help pronouncing our name, check out our audio Instagram post here.