Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh
Language & Cultural Affairs

Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh has a mandate to grow the language and culture of the Squamish People. The departmental objectives are to develop and implement policies and programs to ensure the Squamish People have access to their language, culture, heritage, and archives. The development and implementation of programs are with the support and guidance of Elders, Squamish language speakers, community groups, educational organizations, and government agencies. 

The work of this department belongs to all Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Members, from the youngest to the oldest, on and off reserve, and is at the foundation of who we are and where we come from as a Nation.

Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh Reception
Phone: 604-990-3061
Email: language_culture@squamish.net
Address: Unit 4, 380 Welch Street, West Vancouver, BC V7P 0A7
Mailing Address: PO Box 86131, North Vancouver, BC V7L 4J5
Director: Samaya Jardey

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Name:  Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh

“Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh” is a name created by late language speakers from Ta na wa Nexwníw̓n ta a Ímats (Teachings for your grandchildren) Elders Language Advisory Committee. It was originally created for the Education Department prior to its merging with Employment & Training and has been handed to the the Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh department.

The name could be interpreted as “The Ones Who Guard the Teachings”. Snew̓íyelh is an important concept in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh ways of being referring to the advice one possess and shares. This could be advice on how to be a good person, or how to work together, or how to take care of one another. It is captured in our language and culture. It also simply means “instructions”.

Programs & Services

There are five main divisions of Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh.

  • Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (Squamish language)
  • Cultural Work
  • Curriculum Development
  • Archives and Cultural Collections
  • Language Commission 

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim

Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh offers Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language classes to a wide range of community members, from our youngest learners to post-secondary. We also offer classes remotely during the pandemic to Nation Members and staff and are in the planning stages to resume classes with Nation Elders. In collaboration with Simon Fraser University, the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw supports the Sḵwḵwú7mesh Language Certificate and Diploma programs. We are also working towards establishing a Language Commission, which is a critical component of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim Policy (Squamish Language Policy).

Visit our Facebook page

Manager: Tracy Williams
Email: tracy_williams@squamish.net

Ta Tsíptsipi7lhḵn (Language Nest)

The Language Nest is for our youngest learners from 0 – 3 years old and their caregiver. To register for the Language Nest, email language_culture@squamish.net

Visit the Language Nest Facebook page

Elementary school

  • Xwmélch’sten Etsímxwawtxw Skwul (Capilano Littlest Ones), K4 – Gr 3
  • Norgate Xwmélch’sten Community Elementary
  • Squamish language classes for grades K-7

High school

  • Eslha7án̓ Tá7ltaw̓txw – Eslha7án̓ Learning Centre
  • Squamish Language classes for grades 8-12 and GED Adult Learners 
  • Sp’áḵw’us Skwúlaw̓txw – Carson Graham Secondary School for students grades 8-12
  • Squamish language classes for Squamish Nation students grades 8-12 

Squamish Language Camps

Will be offered in person when COVID-19 health guidelines permit.

Mentor – Apprentice Program (MAP)

MAP sessions are provided to language teachers to increase language proficiency.

Online Squamish languages sessions via Zoom

Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh offer Squamish language sessions from September to June in three different groups: community members, Elders, and Nation staff. To register for Squamish language sessions, email language_culture@squamish.net to register.

Squamish Language and Culture Certificate and Diploma Programs

The Squamish Language and Culture Certificate Program and the Diploma of Squamish Language Proficency is supported by the department and offered to Nation Members. As of 2021 there were approximately 15 graduates from the Certificate Program and two graduating classes (approximately 20 grads each) from the Diploma Program.

Cultural Work

The Cultural Division of Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh works to provide opportunities for Nation Members of all ages to learn about our Squamish ways via hands on experience and cultural sharing sessions from our Knowledge Keepers. We work with museums on exhibit & repatriation opportunities, engage in and support artist opportunities, and support cultural ceremonies both internally and externally. We respond to enquiries received by the Nation, including: land and territory acknowledgements, support for opening and closing prayers/ceremony for events, requests for names in our Squamish language, and questions regarding Squamish protocol. We host a Squamish Nation Advisory Committee comprised of Nation Members who are knowledgeable in our language and culture.

Team Lead: Lorraine Louis
Email: lorraine_louis@squamish.net

Tel̓tel̓númut Cht (Studying Who We Are) 

Tel̓tel̓númut Cht is a new program that our department offers to Nation Members. Each week a special guest presents on a specialized Sḵwx̱wú7mesh subject. Each session ends with time for questions & answers and a chance for participants to win a door prize. 

This program runs September to June on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm via Zoom. To register, email language_culture@squamish.net

Cultural Grant (individual, group and major event categories) – Annual

The objective of this grant is to provide support to the Squamish People for cultural projects or events that benefit the people and that:

  • Grow the cultural ways of being of the Squamish People,
  • Contribute to connecting Squamish People to Squamish culture and/or language,
  • Advance the understanding, awareness, or participation in Squamish cultural practices and/or language learning,
  • Express Squamish cultural and/or linguistic identity,
  • Provide opportunities for contemporary and/or traditional cultural expressions.

Applicants must be a Squamish Nation Member & be in good standing with the Nation. Calls for applications go out once per year and funding is subject to the availability of funds in the annual budget. Please note that applicants are not guaranteed to receive the amount applied for. 

2021 applications are closed. Please stay tuned for next call out.

Knowledge Keeper Resource list – ongoing.  

We receive multiple requests for knowledge keepers to facilitate, perform, and provide Welcomes/Opening Prayers etc. If you would like to be added to our on-call list, Members can request a form at language_culture@squamish.net

Squamish Nation History Book Project

The book project is in progress and will be an “Introduction to Squamish History.” It is a pilot project, potentially becoming an annual publishing opportunity for the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw.

Amalgamation Day Celebration

Please stay tuned for upcoming learning opportunities.

Curriculum Development

The Curriculum Development Division of Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓íyelh is a developing area which focuses on creating accessible resources for our people. We have some English resources, bilingual resources, and Squamish only resources.  

Visit our Facebook page and YouTube channel where we share videos created by our language teachers. As our language continues to grow, so will our resources. If you have any inquiries, please email leateeqwhia@squamish.net.

Archives and Cultural Collections

The Squamish Nation Archives and Cultural Collections are located at Sxwimála-aw̓txw at 320 Seymour Boulevard. 

The Archives collects, preserves, and shares materials related to the history, language, and culture of the Nation. The holdings, both physical and digital, consist of textual records, newspaper clippings and ephemera, photographs, audiovisual materials, maps, and published materials. 

The Cultural Collection are items that represent aspects of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw cultural heritage. The collection includes but is not limited to carvings, baskets, weavings, and paintings that are being actively collected, shared, and preserved for future generations of Nation members. 

The Archives and Cultural Collections are currently in the process of setting up the foundations needed to organize, describe, and make accessible the collections, including developing an online content management system for remote browsing. Our goals are to support the work and needs of the Nation, and to keep this cultural heritage safe and available for future generations. Please check back for updates as the Archives and Cultural Collections continue to grow. If you have any inquiries, please email archives@squamish.net or cultural_collections@squamish.net.

Language Commission

The Language Commission is the official Language Authority for the Squamish Nation for the Skwxwú7mesh sníchim. Its fundamental role is to assist in the revitalization of highly proficient and fluent speakers of Skwxwú7mesh Sníchim. It will oversee the development and implementation of the Official Language Strategy; approve official additions to the Skwxwú7mesh Sníchim dictionary; and approve guidelines, exams, and certified examiners for oral proficiency, translator, and teacher certification.

Coordinator: Carrie Gillon
Email: language_commission@squamish.net