Package has been approved.

Language Needs Assessment: LNA6005 - Laich-Kwil-Tach Research Centre

LNA Status
Application Year & Type
Assessment Year: 
Funding Application Type: 
Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI)
BC Language Initiative (BCLI)
Language and Culture Immersion Camp
Language Revitalization Planning Program
Mentor-Apprentice Program
Pre-school Language Nest
Language and Dialect Information
Community(-ies) this project will be serving: 
Community NOT listed: 
Opportunities and Challenges
The Laich-Kwil-Tach have been very successful in ensuring that their language and culture is incorporated into the local school curriculum. Every child at five elementary schools in the district receives culture and language classes as part of their elementary school curriculum. Students at middle school and high school have the option to take Liq'wala classes and have it count as credit towards their second language requirement. The Laich-Kwil-Tach also operate four preschool programs, at which Elders regularly participate and teachers are becoming active language learners. Two of these four preschools have a teacher who is part of the mentor-apprentice language-learning program that is being developed cooperatively among the Laich-Kwil-Tach nations. One of the preschools has been able to increase the number of hours their Elder spends in the classroom due to funding obtained by the revitalization committee. These teachers are committed to ensuring a larger component of the preschool curriculum be focused on language with a long-term goal of developing an immersion environment for preschool children. The community also recognizes the urgency in revitalizing Liq’wala and there is a growing support for language revitalization. For these reasons, there is a great opportunity within the Laich-Kwil- Tach community to continue to develop and implement a language revitalization plan. The short-term goal is to maintain and support the mentor apprentice program. This program, which includes four mentor-apprentice teams, will aid in creating a group of teachers upon which a larger revitalization plan can be built. The mid-term goal, over the next 3 to 5 years, is to develop an immersion program within the preschools. The long-term goal, over the next 12 to 18 years is to develop a complete K-12 immersion program for Laich-Kwil-Tach students. At the same time there is a desire to develop community-based language programs that promote language use and help to create spaces in which the language can be used daily. Although these goals are lofty, there is still an opportunity to reach them as there are still a small number of fluent speakers from whom the current teachers can learn the language. Our community recognizes that an intensive language revitalization plan must be developed immediately while fluent speakers are still able to teach the next generation of speakers. Our community is committed to implementing this plan and ensuring the vitality of Liq’wala for our children and grandchildren.
The biggest challenge to implementing a language revitalization plan is the age and lack of fluent Liq'wala speakers. Although the focus is on the Liq'wala dialect, we will also work with people who speak the Kwak'wala dialect but who know the difference between the two dialects of this language, therefore maximizing the number of fluent speakers who can have a role in language revitalization. The second biggest challenge is the cost of language revitalization. Regardless of these challenges there is a growing movement within the community to stop language loss and to promote language learning. There is a strong feeling within the community that if a vigorous revitalization plan is not implemented immediately that language loss will become irreversible within the foreseeable future. Because of the enthusiasm within the community there is an opportunity to develop a plan that will include many people who are dedicated to learn the language and in fact, this work has begun. The mentor-apprentice program teams are working in full swing and a strong revitalization committee has been started. At the same time, those who are fluent speakers also feel a sense of urgency and are committed to teaching those dedicated learners within the community. For these reasons the Laich-Kwil-Tach community wants to continue with its revitalization program and are seeking assistance in developing a plan that can be implemented immediately.