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.

Just Posted

Nominations for Kelowna Chamber of Commerce “40 Under Forty” now open

The chamber said the search for “Best of the Best” is on

Kelowna city council approves off-leash dog beach on Lake Avenue

This is the fourth off-leash dog beach to be implemented in Kelowna

Power outage in West Kelowna

Power is out for those living near Mount Boucherie Secondary School

Two Okanagan residents convicted and fined for hunting out of season

Both residents were convicted in a Kelowna provincial court

Nominations open for Kelowna’s 45th annual Civic and Community Awards

The awards recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions made in the community each year

UPDATE: Furnace blamed for house fire in east Kelowna

The house suffered some smoke damage

Book examines history of B.C. wine industry

Author Luke Whittall has studied the growth of the industry from the mid-19th century to today

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Police search warrant valid in Sagmoen case: Supreme Court

Evidence expected to be presented in court

Competitive Christmas decorating takes sarcastic turn in Princeton

It’s not uncommon for neighbours to good-naturely compete with one another when… Continue reading

Alleged Penticton shooter John Brittain waives preliminary trial

Brittain will return to court in January to schedule a trial date

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

CMHA Vernon Crisis Chat celebrates six-month milestone

With more than 20,000 calls and interactions every year, CMHA seeks more volunteers for Interior

Most Read