Learn To Speak


NIȽ TU,O’s “Speak” Initiative is a multi-part effort to make language-learning tools accessible 24/7 and ensure that SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and lək̓ʷəŋən are being appropriately preserved. It is one of the many ways NIȽ TU,O works to provide culturally appropriate support for Coast Salish children and families. To learn more, read below.



This page provides an easy-to-use resource to learn basic SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and lək̓ʷəŋən words and phrases.

Language is the foundation of Coast Salish culture; containing aspects of Coast Salish worldview, values, stories, and teachings.

This new addition to the NIȽ TU,O website provides an important language revitalization asset, and is an online language learning resource where site visitors can find introductory lessons of SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and lək̓ʷəŋən.

The page includes short audio recordings of commonly used phrases and words over a variety of categories: mountain animals, colors, counting, months, daily phrases, and moons. Upon clicking the desired category, website visitors will see a list of recordings to explore. For example, the “Daily Phrases and Greetings” category teaches visitors to say phrases such as “thank you respected one,” “we are one,” “bitter cherry tree,” “place of clay,” and “warmed by the sun.”

Two language holders are featured in the recordings, vocalizing the words so users can listen to them being spoken by different voices; male & female and an experienced speaker as well as a less experienced speaker. To ensure the page is beneficial to users of all learning styles, the recordings are accompanied by images of the words to demonstrate how the words are written and properly spelled.

The online nature of this resource ensures endangered languages like SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and lək̓ʷəŋən are being appropriately preserved, digitized and made accessible 24/7.

In addition to serving as a rich cultural resource in its own right, NIȽ TU,O has woven this exciting new language resource into another initiative that supports the Coast Salish community. For example, the recently released Culture and Care Daily Planner – a NIȽ TU,O project that provides a hands-on way for young adults to practice self-care through the lens of tradition –  is sprinkled with QR codes that lead the viewer directly to the new online Speak page. When a youth scans one of the QR codes, it will lead to a  page that provides the opportunity to both read and listen to SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, or lək̓ʷəŋən.

The new Speak page is just another way NIȽ TU,O works to provide culturally appropriate support for Coast Salish children and families.

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We understand that there may be variations or different interpretations of spelling, orthography, pronunciation, and other details, depending on the location and family group of the source of knowledge. This is common when preserving knowledge passed down via oral tradition.

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Now Seeking Caregivers

NIȽ TU,O is committed to keeping Coast Salish kids with their families and in the community. As such, NIȽ TU,O is always seeking Coast Salish caregivers to provide a culturally safe and welcoming home for children who – for one reason or another – can’t live with their parents right now.  Click here to learn more.

Family Strengthening Programs

NIȽ TU,O offers a variety of support and counselling services, group workshops, and other programs to help families, children and youth in the communities we serve. Click the button below to view all of our programs or scroll down to find information on an individual program.

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Telephone: 250-544-1400
Fax: 250-544-1402

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