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Language Lessons

Tk̓emlúpsemc re Secwepemctsín 1

A Beginning Course in Secwépemc Salish – Western Dialect

The Paul Creek Language Association (PCLA) visited the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc in 2012 where LaRae Wiley and Christopher Parkin presented the direct acquisition lesson activities from the teacher’s manual. The lesson activities are part of their community’s intensive program to create fluent speakers of the Nselxcin language. Similar to the Secwépemc language, there are very few fluent Nselxcin speakers and this intensive program will create a minimum of five fluent speakers per year. All those who attended this meeting would agree how effective this teaching strategy is, since we all understood Nselxcin within a few minutes. At the conclusion of this informative meeting, the PCLA informed us that we can use the intensive fluency curriculum for the Secwe̓pemc language – with the integrity of acknowledging the PCLA for future curriculum development.

With the guidance of Loretta Seymour and Garlene Dodson, the Tk̓emlúpsemc re Secwepemctsín Book 1 was reviewed and edited to correspond with the Tk̓emlúpsemc area dialect. Jessica Arnouse, Little Fawn Nursery Administrator, worked with Loretta and Garlene on and off to edit this book and to produce audio recordings for the lessons. As we all know, the Secwepemc language did not have a writing system until the 1960s, at which time linguists traveled through the Secwepemc territory to record fluent speakers, therefore reading and writing the Secwépemc language is a very new idea.

Please understand that you do not have to learn how to read and write the Secwepemc language to enjoy this book. The audio recordings will help language learners with listening and pronunciation skills. For each lesson, there is a corresponding audio track that you can listen to over and over.

The authors would like to acknowledge the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc Education Department Manager, Diena Jules, for her support in this language revitalization initiative. Diena continues to advocate for the revitalization of the Secwepemc language within her community and her guidance is invaluable. In addition, the authors express their heartfelt gratitude to the Chief and Council of the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc for their support and encouragement as we continue to research and define who we are as Secwépemc people. We are forever thankful to the many fluent speakers who have and continue to keep our language and culture alive.

The materials presented here are a first draft, and we appreciate the patience and forgiveness of all those who may use them. In the near future, we hope to start working on Story Book 1 and Song Book 1, which will offer more vocabulary for beginning students, to assist in the formation of sentences and to improve communication.

Yiri7 es kukwstsétsemc,

Loretta Seymour Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc Elder

Garlene Dodson (Jules) Skeetchestn Elder

Jessica Arnouse
Little Fawn Nursery Administrator