Syilx language program comes to West Kelowna

The course was first offered in Penticton

This is their first time teaching together and things are looking up.

Co-teachers Michele Johnson and Krista Lindley are bringing a program that teaches Syilx to the Westbank First Nation.

Johnson first started teaching the course in Penticton. Lindley was one of her former students.

Because this is the first time she’s offering the course in West Kelowna, Johnson thought there would only be a handful of people signing up, saying the original plan was to teach Syilx in her living room.

But 25 people ended up registering, so they rushed to find a bigger space in time for this week’s start.

Lindley found a room at Westbank First Nation’s Youth Building.

As for the thought of a bigger class, both Johnson and Lindley called it intimidating.

“It’s scary but good. It’s exciting to realize that there are so many people interested in learning (Syilx),” Lindley said.

“We had a core group of two or three people that we knew (were interested)…I ordered some chairs, I ordered 12 textbooks and 25 people signed up. And I just can’t fit 25 people in my home,” Johnson added.

Johnson said the program is open to anyone who may be interested.

She said they’re hoping more people from non-Indigenous communities come to learn Syilx.

“We’re making it wide open. We have plenty of space now. We have a linguist coming, a few teachers from the Sensisyusten Band School are coming that are non-Indigenous,” Johnson said.

“We welcome the spouses, family members and friends (of current students). We welcome everyone.

“This is a totally inclusive wrap-around program based on kindness and inclusivity.”

The first level of the program will be taught for four months. Classes are on Mondays and Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m.

The textbook, which includes lessons and exercises, as well as audio recordings is available online.

READ MORE: Google Earth features B.C. Indigenous language in new audio series

READ: 60 per cent of all Canadian Indigenous languages are in B.C.


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

556 child care spots for Vernon area welcomed, chamber says

Province announced funding for thousands of child care positions in 35 communities Friday

Cops for Kids to pedal through Vernon Saturday afternoon

Supporters are encouraged to cheer on their local RCMP participants at 3:30 p.m.

Wanted Enderby man connected to Shuswap stabbing caught in Coldstream

Alexander Boucher, 36, is charged with attempted murder linked to a stabbing in Blind Bay

Northern section of Okanagan Rail Trail to close for repairs

Erosion mitigation work will begin Monday and continue until mid-October

B.C. reports 122 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge smaller social circles

Health officials urge against shaming and blaming patients

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Summerland councillor’s bid for NDP nomination rejected

Doug Holmes was told provincial executive would not accept his application

Most Read