Nuu-chah-nulth language forum features Clayoquot region's dialects

Denise Titian, October 15, 2018

c̓awaackʷiniš is happening at the Tin Wis Conference Center starting Thursday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. and will feature presentations from all of the schools in the region, including those in Hot Springs Cove and Ahousaht. Pictured are students from Maaqtusiis Elementary in Ahousaht during a potlatch at the school in May. (Eric Plummer photo)

Tofino, BC — 

The Coastal Family Resource Coalition is hosting a two-day gathering that will bring together Nuu-chah-nulth language teachers and learners of all ages and from all sectors of the region.

Brooke Wood is the Literacy Coordinator for the Coastal Family Resource Coalition. She said that an Indigenous language committee has been working together to improve language learning statistics in the Clayoquot Sound area. One of the most pressing issues they’ve identified is the need for more collaboration between the various groups that are working to save the language.

“There is a lot of work going on out there and we hope to showcase some of the great stuff that’s happening,” said Wood.

The event will be called c̓awaackʷiniš, meaning "We are all one/we come from one(ness)" and the theme is Histanuum - going towards the new generation - ƛaahiqsak (younger generation). With that in mind, day one of the gathering will be devoted to school children.

c̓awaackʷiniš is happening at the Tin Wis Conference Center starting Thursday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. and will feature presentations from all of the schools in the region, including those in Hot Springs Cove and Ahousaht.

“We are bringing together traditional knowledge holders, elders, advocates, youth and educators from around the Clayoquot Biosphere Region of Nuu-chah-nulth territory (Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, and Toquaht) to share stories and their journeys to Indigenous language revitalization,” said Wood.

The gathering will offer keynote speakers, a panel of local Indigenous language speakers, guiding thoughts from our elders, youth presentations, and more. The gathering will also include cultural performances by Nuu-chah-nulth nations within the Biosphere Region.

Day two of the gathering will focus on traditional healing and curriculum development, including a discussion on language nests.

This two-day gathering is for elders, youth, language teachers, language learners, champions and speakers, school district/band-run/private school staff, post-secondary students and staff, community members and leaders.

Funded by Dakota Literacy Solutions, the Ministry of Child and Family Development and Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, the gathering is open to everyone - but organizers ask for donations in the range of $1 - $100 from those that have the means.

“We don’t want to put barriers up for people wanting to attend,” said Wood.

To register for the gathering, contact Brooke Wood at 250-725-2219.