Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould

Preserving a language one shelf at a time

Speakers of the Kwak’wala/Liqwala language received a gift from MP John Duncan to ensure their voice lives on for generations

It was only $7,000 worth of library shelving, but the speakers of the Kwak’wala/Liqwala language see it as a platform to ensure their voice lives on for generations.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, the MP for Vancouver Island North, visited the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre on Quadra Island Saturday to announce $7,000 in funding from the Western Economic Diversification Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund to help the Centre install new library shelving.

The Centre currently has a collection of First Nations books that are in storage and inaccessible. With the funding, the Nuyumbalees Society will be able to construct shelving at the centre that can display this collection and make it accessible to members of the community and the public.

Minister Duncan said: “I have had many conversations about Nuyumbalees and about retaining the language and retaining the culture. As a backdrop to today’s announcement we have found two years of funding for language preservation which will lead to language education. It is vital that this occur at this time because the dialect is still alive but there are precious few people who are able to speak it.

“We know that as long as you can document (the language) and get it preserved then you can turn it into a teaching tool.” Duncan pledged to try and keep the funding “going forward.”

Donald Assu, President of the Nuyumbalees Society, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister Duncan for announcing the generous support … not only in the area of the library book shelves which we greatly appreciate but also support we received that is enabling us to preserve the Kwak’wala/Liqwala language.”

The Chief Negotiator for the Lacih-Kwii-Tach Treaty Society, Rod Naknakim, said the revival of the Kwak’wala/Liqwala language has “brought our families together.”

“We are really hopeful our language will become revived. It makes such a difference with our people in terms of reaffirming our identity, reviving our culture and giving us the strength and hope to be positive in the way we go forward. Thank goodness we have a library going. It contributes to everything we are trying to achieve.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports volunteer recruitment session planned

The Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports is a non-profit charitable society… Continue reading

Campbell River Search and Rescue to be called in to search for Kelly McLoed

If you come across a groundsearch team tomorrow, listen to them.

North Island candidates chime in on Indigenous rights

Should we adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People into Canadian law?

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read