Package has been approved.

Language Needs Assessment: LNA6249 - Ts'msyen Sm'algya̱x Language Authority

LNA Status
Application Year & Type
Assessment Year: 
Funding Application Type: 
Aboriginal Languages Initiative (ALI)
Language and Dialect Information
Community(-ies) this project will be serving: 
Community NOT listed: 
Opportunities and Challenges
Sm'algyax is taught in SD 52 schools from K-12 in Prince Rupert and Hartley Bay (Gitg̱a'at Nation) as well as non-district programs in Gitxaała, La̱x Kw'alaams, and Kitsumkalum. Intensive immersion for language teachers will facilitate intergenerational transfer of our language. There is also a HeadStart and a StrongStart program, and evening ommunity courses. Sm'algya̱x is not on First Voices, but the online Sm'algya̱x Living Legacy Talking Dictionary has equivalent information and is available in all communities and includes a large number of audio files of fluent speakers in the examples to entries. We have an excellent team of fluent elders working on projects.
There are fewer than 75 fluent speakers of our language throughout all the communities of our nation including on- and off-reserve communities. Most speakeers are in their 70s and 80s. Several villages have no fluent speakers at all. The language teachers in the school program are minimally fluent and there is now limited support by fluent speakers available in the schools, making improved fluency for the teachers critical.