ckʷu kʷ ƛ̓lap il skʷkʷƛ̓ilt naɬ ƛ̓x̌əx̌ƛ̓x̌ap | Language Nest

ckʷu kʷ ƛ̓lap il skʷkʷƛ̓ilt naɬ ƛ̓x̌əx̌ƛ̓x̌ap | Language Nest

Cultural Requests and Language Translations

If you would like to have a sqilxʷ Drummer, Elder or Traditional Knowledge Keeper attend your event, check out the form and protocols below:

We can help translate your message into nsqilxʷcen (the language of the sqilxʷ people). Download our translation request form for details.

Language Nest Vision

The ckʷukʷ ƛ̓lap il skʷkʷƛ̓ilt, nalɬ ƛ̓x̌əx̌ƛ̓x̌ap (the sun shines on the fawn and the old people) Language Nest is an early language immersion program for infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children. The program reconnect children with fluent Elders and immerses them in the nsqilxʷcen (the language of the sqilxʷ people) language and culture though play-based activities that are delivered in a homelike environment.

In 2018-2019, the Language Nest day program continued to successfully reconnect fluent speaking Elder with infants and young children and to activity encourage pregnant women and new mothers to attend the program so that their babies will hear the sounds of the language in utero and during early infancy. Young children are also reconnected to their traditional land though the joy of simple play in nature that included short nature walks in the surrounding area, as well as the gathering of traditional foods when possible. Program participants learn how to prepare and process traditional foods, such as siyaʔ (saskatoon) jam, and are introduced to a variety of traditional foods at snack time and lunch time when these foods are available. One of the prerequisites for our children’s parents/guardians is to attend a weekly language learning program.

Who we are


x̓iyałnxʷ | Danielle Saddleman
Language and Culture Lead

Danielle is responsible is developing a strategic a consultation framework / community engagement strategy to enhance and support the acquisition of language and culture within Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) and for the planning and management of language and culture programs for the membership and organization. If you have a skill or a new idea you would like to share or see in community, please contact the Language and Culture Lead.

Pauline Archachan

Tuma | Pauline Archachan
Language Nest Elder,
Fluent Language Speaker and Teacher

Adam Gregoire

Kikiwa | Adam Gregoire
Language Nest Elder
Fluent Language Speaker and Teacher

Virginia Gregoire

Tupa | Virginia Gregoire
Language Nest Elder
Fluent Language Speaker and Teacher

Buddy Program Partnership with nk’mapəlqs i snmamayaʔtn i kel sqilxʷtet

Grade 7 students from nk’mapəlqs i snmamayaʔtn i kel sqilxʷtet attend the Language Nest every Wednesday to mentor the young children for one hour to play games, do activities, and go for walks in the language with the children, supervised by the nest assistants. The purpose of this program is to encourage our older students to be mentors and to share their language through songs, drumming, stories and Total Physical Response activities.

The Language and Culture Department have a number of options for getting involved and learning our sqilxʷ language, which are listed below.

Adult and Youth Language classes

Okanagan Indian Band Language and Culture department hired a new Adult and Youth Language teacher to teach the Paul Creek Curriculum course in community. The Paul Creek Curriculum, developed by sʕamtíc̓a (Sarah Peterson) with LaRae Wiley and Christopher Parkin has been very successful in creating speakers within our nation member bands. One of the goals is to create more language speakers in our community and help build acquisition to create a stronger sense of community.

We are currently teaching evening community classes for nsyilxcən 1 and captíkʷł 1 while also mentoring the language nest workers to raise their language fluency levels. For future classes, we are hoping to continue on with the Paul Creek Curriculum and move into nsyilxcən 2, captíkʷł 2, nsyilxcən 3, and captíkʷł 3 in the future. If you are interested in taking any of the community classes offered or would like to get involved with language learning please contact the Adult and Language Teacher.

nsyilxcən 1

nsyilxcən 1 Book is the first book of the nsyilxcən Curriculum Project developed by the Paul Creek Language Association and Salish School of Spokane. This beginner course includes audio, teaching materials, and software to aid learning in 45 lessons.

captíkʷł 1

nsəlxcin Stories for Beginners is the second book of the nsyilxcən Curriculum Project that furthers vocabulary building and sentence structure. This beginner book has students telling stories and speaking for long periods of time while building off their knowledge from nsyilxcən 1.

Where Are Your Keys Program

Where Are Your Keys? (WAYK) is an interactive technique for learning languages directly from native speakers. It is a game-based approach that uses gesture and sign language to facilitate immediate communication in the target language. The game is based on repeated questions and answers, with a set of gestures.


CAN-8 is a virtual lab that improves language learning and now there is a nsyilxcən version available. This is an online option that is perfect for busy learners as they can work at their own speed and schedule. Please watch the OKIB’s communications for the next information session to learn more about the program and sign-up. This program is used internationally at many post secondary institutions and has been successful for many students learning a language abroad.

Language and Culture Department Deliverables

Cultural Activities

Cultural Activities are an important aspect of programming for our babies, children, youth, adults, and Elders to access and learn syilx Okanagan cultural protocols and cultural practices in the english and the nsyilxcen language. These activities teach and share how to harvest traditional foods and practice culture. Traditional activities create an atmosphere where children can learn from their parents and Elders, but also it helps our parents and Elders to learn how to teach and work with young children. The most important part of everyone being present at an activity is that the community get to visit one another. The Cultural Activities program is offered 2-4 times a month during the evening, with some occasional day sessions. The objective is to demonstrate to young children and youth that language and culture have a meaningful place in our community.

Tupa’s Kitchen

Tupa’s Kitchen is a program we offer to children, parents, and grandparents to teach families of young children how to prepare healthy traditional foods as well as foods that are sold by our local farmers. It is an opportunity to come together and re-establish relationships with community members. It creates an atmosphere where children can learn from their parents and elders, but also it helps our parents and elders to learn how to teach and work with young children. One of our main objectives is to reintroduce young children and their families the knowledge of how to gather and prepare sqilxʷ traditional foods. Our Elders share some of their memories of growing up in the kitchen with their mothers, family, and community mothers.

Cultural Camps

In 2017-2019, the Language Nest partnered with Health and Wellness team to deliver two four-day Cultural Camps to the community. The OKIB teams are reconnecting community to hands on cultural practices including: hide tanning, weaving, jewelry making, and carving.

The OKIB Language and Culture Team would like to give thanks to all of the Fluent Speakers and Traditional Knowledge Keepers for their hard work and dedication to our sqilxʷ ways.

Contact Information

Language and Culture Lead
[email protected]
250-984-8076 ext. 7010

Language Nest Coordinator
[email protected]
250-984-8076 ext. 7011

Adult and Youth Language Teacher
[email protected]
250-984-8076 ext.7012

Language Administrator
[email protected] | [email protected]