Syilx language program comes to West Kelowna

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

(BC Conservation Service)
Hunter charged, fined for poaching immature moose in West Kelowna

Richard Fischer pled guilty to two charges under the BC Wildlife Act

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Nate Brown photo
Okanagan-Shuswap says goodbye sunshine, hello winter

Temperatures are forecasted to drop by mid-next week

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Family Literacy Week is being celebrated in downtown Vernon with the first ever Story-Window Walk Jan. 21-31. (Literacy Society of North Okanagan)
Catch a Yeti in the North Okanagan

Literacy Week celebrated with first ever Story-Window Walk

Most Read