Package has been approved.

Language Needs Assessment: LNA6386 - Tsleil-Waututh Nation

LNA Status
LNA ID: 
6386
Submitted: 
Submitted
Status: 
Approved
Application Year & Type
Assessment Year: 
2018/2019
Funding Application Type: 
BC Language Initiative (BCLI)
Language and Dialect Information
Language comment: 
We are going to be working with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim instead of hən̓q́əmińem̓. The rationale is described in the needs assessment piece, as well as in our proposal.
Community(-ies) this project will be serving: 
Community NOT listed: 
Opportunities and Challenges
Opportunities: 
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) Language Program has been in existence for about 5.5 years. We have been working at revitalizing hən̓q́əmińem̓. We had a conversant speaker, Victor Guerin, from the Musqueam Nation who was integral to our hən̓q́əmińem̓ work. There are no fluent speakers of hən̓q́əmińem̓ so without Victor we never would have had a program. Former TWN employee Dustin Rivers helped build our program with his knowledge of “Where are your keys?” (WAYK). It is a system of teaching language through immersion with special learning tools. With Dustin’s expertise our program excelled. We also pulled in members of WAYK for their expertise on teaching fluency. Our program excelled at teaching people hən̓q́əmińem̓ and we produced the needed curriculum. We currently have an even mix of Squamish and hən̓q́əmińem̓ learners in our community; by next year at this time we will have more Squamish learners, this is due to the Squamish Immersion program at SFU. Fluent Squamish speakers are local and more accessible; this means lower costs. We have strong alliances with 2 other Squamish language programs; this amplifies our learning and material outputs which maximizes the money we spend. By working in Squamish, we would spend less money on travel. We can gain fluency in Squamish and in less time than we have spent in hən̓q́əmińem̓. Dustin Rivers was 75% fluent in Squamish when he worked for our hən̓q́əmińem̓ program, because of that he was able to become our most proficient speaker in hən̓q́əmińem̓. By getting fluent in Squamish we can eventually achieve fluency in hən̓q́əmińem̓. Our 5-year plan will begin with a strong focus on Squamish fluency. The later part of our 5-year plan will include using our Squamish proficiency to get fluent in hən̓q́əmińem̓. We have identified 1 member of our language team that will continue to work on gaining hən̓q́əmińem̓ fluency. We will and must eventually offer both Squamish and hən̓q́əmińem̓ classes for our membership; this will ensure we protect our heritage languages and meet the demand of our members. Our People in Tsleil-Waututh have a heritage to Squamish and hən̓q́əmińem̓ • We have been advised by WAYK that gaining fluency in any Salish language would be the best route for getting fluent in hən̓q́əmińem̓, given that we have no fluent hən̓q́əmińem̓ speakers • The natural choice is Squamish • Based on our past surveys we know our membership wants both Squamish and hən̓q́əmińem̓ • We currently have an even mix of Squamish and hən̓q́əmińem̓ learners in our community; by next year at this time we will have more Squamish learners, this is due to the Squamish Immersion program at SFU • Fluent Squamish speakers are local and more accessible; this means lower costs • We have strong alliances with 2 other Squamish language programs; this amplifies our learning and material outputs which maximizes the money we spend • By working in Squamish, we would spend less money on travel • We can gain fluency in Squamish and in less time than we have spent in hən̓q́əmińem̓ • Dustin Rivers was 75% fluent in Squamish when he worked for our hən̓q́əmińem̓ program, because of that he was able to become our most proficient speaker in hən̓q́əmińem̓ • By getting fluent in Squamish we can eventually achieve fluency in hən̓q́əmińem̓ • Our 5-year plan will begin with a strong focus on Squamish fluency • The later part of our 5-year plan will include using our Squamish proficiency to get fluent in hən̓q́əmińem̓ • We have identified 1 member of our language team that will continue to work on gaining hən̓q́əmińem̓ fluency • We will and must eventually offer both Squamish and hən̓q́əmińem̓ classes for our membership; this will ensure we protect our heritage languages and meet the demand of our members
Challenges: 
Without any fluent speakers our language acquisition has levelled off. We turned to fluent hulquminum on Vancouver Island as it is the closest dialect to hən̓q́əmińem̓. In the last few years we have made gains in fluency using speakers from the Island. We need 3 to 5 fluent speakers in our community in order to soundly create more speakers. Our main barrier has been having no fluent hən̓q́əmińem̓ speakers. The cost of speakers from the Island is high; it uses up our valuable time and budget. The distance between our Community and speakers from the Island is a challenge that limits our access. Despite our efforts we have not been able to create sound working relationships with other hən̓q́əmińem̓ communities. In the last 6 months our Fluency gains have levelled off. We worked with our WAYK consultants and our Language team to map out our next steps. Our WAYK consultants have worked with many communities and know what works. • We have been advised by WAYK that gaining fluency in any Salish language would be the best route for getting fluent in hən̓q́əmińem̓, given that we have no fluent hən̓q́əmińem̓ speakers. The natural choice is Squamish.