nsyilxcən Language

nsyilxcən is the language spoken by and distinguishes the Syilx from other indigenous peoples. It is part of the Salish language family which is distinct from our Salish neighbors, like the Spokan, the Nlaka’pamux, and the Secwepemc. nsyilxcən is spoken in all the districts of the Syilx territory with varying dialects.

As part of colonization Indian Residential Schools were introduced and Indigenous Peoples were severely punished for speaking our own languages and forced to speak English, resulting in a severe loss of the language retention in our communities.

“My voice, my language goes right across this country like the breeze”. Elder Joey Pierre

Today, community based language revitalization strategies such as immersion schools, language nests, developing curriculum, web based tools and books are all making language a major component of educational curriculum.

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