Package has been approved.

Language Needs Assessment: LNA6111 - Upper Nicola Band

LNA Status
Application Year & Type
Assessment Year: 
Funding Application Type: 
Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI)
Language and Dialect Information
Spaxomin or Nicola Lake Dialect
Community(-ies) this project will be serving: 
Community NOT listed: 
Opportunities and Challenges
Cultural Identity is a Stragegic Priority for 2016-2021; Nsilxcen is ia key component of the cultural identity for the Upper Nicola Band. it is also one of N'kwala School Growth Plans. Nsyilxcen is taught at N'kwala School and the Headstart Program; this year, for the first time, it is also taught at the Merritt Central School. In addition, there are times when an Elder provides classes; however, this is not on a regular basis. The school uses the resources created by the N̓xaʔm̓xčín Curriculum Project, a series of six textbooks with accompanying software, which is being developed by Salish School of Spokane and the Colville Confederated Tribes, The Paul Creek Language Association) and Sƛ̓x̌atkʷ N̓səl̓xcin Sn̓mam̓áy̓aʔtn (Salish School of Spokane). The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) has a Professional Learning Committe (PLC) of the Nsyilxcen and Secwepemctsín languages. Through the PLC, the N'kwala language teacher is able to collaborate with other language teachers, participate in professional development opportunities, and create language resources. The PLC has face-to-face meetings and telephone conferences a number of times during the school year. There are still fluent speakers.
We are rapidly loosing our fluent speakers. And many of the fluent speakers have health concerns, including hearing and mobility. Although there are more semi-fluent speakers than fluent, the numbers of non speakers are the majority. The opportunities to learn and speak are minimal. N'kwala students learn Nsyilxcen at school; however, at home, English is spoken because their parents are non speakers. Children are teaching their parents basic vocabulary (one word). The Nsyilxcen teacher at N'kwala is not a fluent speaker; however, she has the DSTC certification. Many people do not understand the alphabet and sound system used which is the International Phonetic Alphabet. The Paul Creek resources are in a different dialect; there is work in progress to translate these resources into the Nicola Lake dialect. The En'owkin Centre is available for classes and resources; however, the distance and travel limit the availability.