From May 30th onward, NIȽ TU,O’s garden beds will feature descriptive plaques, highlighting the SENĆOŦEN names and care properties of the native plants planted around the offices.

(Shown above, descriptive plaque)

NIȽ TU,O’s buildings are surrounded by beautiful garden beds designed by a local native plant expert. A nod to NIȽ TU,O’s commitment to providing culturally-accurate services to Coast Salish youth and families, each plant is native to the area and integral to Coast Salish culture.

On May 30th, 2024, NIȽ TU,O is bringing an interactive component to the gardens: descriptive plaques with scannable QR codes, during it’s Spring Garden Showcase.

Each new plaque will feature an illustration of one of the garden’s culturally significant plants, a description of the plant’s care needs, and the plant’s SENĆOŦEN name. The plaques were created in collaboration with Satinflower Nurseries which permitted NIȽ TU,O to borrow illustrations and descriptions from their own plaques.

The plaques’ QR codes will lead visitors to the “Speak” section of NIȽ TU,O’s website. There, they’ll find recordings of the correct pronunciation of each plant’s name in SENĆOŦEN, as spoken by a Coast Salish knowledge holder.

To help reinforce the learning of the gardens’ plant names, NIȽ TU,O is creating several related games. For example, NIȽ TU,O will soon release plant-themed word searches, fill in the blanks, and even coloring-book-style pages drawn by Coast Salish artist Jeannie Chipps.

(Shown above, interactive pages)

NIȽ TU,O plans to release the plaques and accompanying materials in Spring of 2024.

The new plaques and accompanying plant-themed language-learning materials are a part of NIȽ TU,O’s new “Speak” Initiative: a multi-part effort to make language-learning tools accessible. Other elements of the initiative include over 50 recordings of general SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and lək̓ʷəŋən vocabulary available on NIȽ TU,O’s website, a weekly short-form video series that teaches SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and lək̓ʷəŋən languages on social media, and NIȽ TU,O’s innovative “Culture and Care Daily Planner.” NIȽ TU,O plans to integrate the plant-themed word searches in the next iteration of the Planner.

To learn more about NIȽ TU,O’s gardens, the “Speak” Initiative, and other ways NIȽ TU,O is helping to uplift Coast Salish children and families, subscribe to NIȽ TU,O’s newsletter below.