Nancy Camille

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Language: Secwepemctsín
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Home: Canoe Creek

Years Working Towards Language Revitalization: Many

Nancy Camille is an Elder from the Canoe Creek reserve and a fluent Secwpemc speaker. Nancy is the mother of eleven, grand-mother of fifteen, great-grand-mother of sixteen. Nancy is very proud of her family and can still be seen babysitting her great-grandchildren when needed.

She has always worked hard to preserve our Secwpemc language. She is also very knowledgeable in the culture and traditions of the Secwepemc people and has shared her knowledge with all who are willing to learn.

Nancy has taught the language for the past fifteen years in a classroom setting, but has always taught it in everyday life as long as she had students willing to learn. She has taught at Rosie Seymour Elementary School, Canoe Creek Head Start and the Canoe Creek Health Centre. She speaks the language on a regular basis and she encourages the whole community to learn our language.

She has taught all age groups; the preschool age students, elementary school children, youth and adults. She is a very patient teacher who is willing to do lessons over and over.

She is an excellent role model for our community who graduated from Simon Fraser University at the age of 71 with a Certificate in First Nations Language Proficiency.

At present, Nancy is a Mentor for the Master Apprentice Program sponsored by the First Peoples’ Heritage Language and Culture Council. This is a mixed group starting right from beginners to semi-fluent speakers.

Nancy is always willing to learn new ways of preserving the language, from recording on cassettes tapes to learning how to record on the computer. She attended a training program called ACORNS and wasn’t intimidated at all about working with computers.

Nancy is loved and respected by the whole community because of the work she does to keep Secwepmctsin alive in Canoe Creek and I am very proud to nominate her as our Language Champion.

Nominated by Darlene Louie