CUYSTWÍ MALH UCWALMÍCWTS – Let’s all go speak our Language!
My 2 and 4 year old friends are learning Ucwalmicts at day-care.
Ucwalmicts is the first language of the Lil’wat, and other Interior Salish people.
Linguists, working together with Lil’wat, created a writing system with which the Lil’wat community is recording and teaching its language and history.
Today, regional schools teach the language and teachers at the Ullus Child Care Centre share the language with kids – the staff won the 2011 Aboriginal Child Care Recognition Awards for their dedication and commitment to the children in their care, including their commitment to sharing the Ucwalmicts language.
It is in this language that the stories that bind our people to the land were first spoken.
It is only in our language that we can communicate with our true spirit, the very essence of who we are as Lil’wat7ul.
I think it’s pretty amazing that these kids will grow up able to express themselves in English, French, and Ucwalmicts, to have their developing brains shaped by these different ways of understanding and naming the world around us.