Squamish Language Policy Framework

The Squamish Nation Language and Cultural Department is seeking your feedback on the proposed Squamish Language Policy Framework. Based on your feedback, we will create a report for Council that is based on key themes, suggestions and your input.

Some of the highlights of the Squamish Language Policy Framework include:

  • the establishment of a Language Commission;
  • a Squamish Language Revitalization Policy;
  • Squamish Language Oral Proficiency Certification;
  • Squamish Language Teacher Certification;
  • Squamish Language Protocol;
  • and a Squamish Language Naming Process.

Please forward any comments or input to:

Tracy Williams,
Manager, Language and Cultural Affairs
email: tracy_williams@squamish.net

SQUAMISH LANGUAGE POLICY FRAMEWORK:

FOUNDING PROVISIONS

A recognition on the language rights of the Squamish Peoples including reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Section 35, and others.

LANGUAGE COMMISSION (“LANGUAGE AUTHORITY”)

  • The mandate for a language authority called a Language Commission to be appointed by Council.
  • The structure of the commission being nine members for a four-year term based on a criterion of:
    • understanding of language policy;
    • experience with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim planning in family and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh community contexts;
    • academic background in sociolinguistics and language planning;
    • high levels of connectivity with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim community initiatives.
    • High level of proficiency in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim
  • The rules, procedures, and requirements of the Commission including a Terms of Reference approved by the Commission.
  • The Commission may create sub-committees to accomplish any of its required duties.
  • The Commission may be compensated for their contributions and services, but any employees appointed to the Commission are conducting their work with the Commission outside of their staff role.
  • The policy will uphold and conform to the Squamish Nation’s conflict of interest policy.
  • The policy shall set out the purpose and functions of the Commission.

DIRECTOR

  • The purpose and functions of the Director are to uphold and implement this policy.
  • The Director may delegate any of its duties within this policy to an employee to act as designate.

REVITALIZATION STRATEGY

  • The Squamish Nation requires an official language revitalization strategy be developed and implemented to guide the long-term goals, objectives, targets, and initiatives and must include a costing of the strategy.
  • Consult people in the development and amendment of the strategy as determined by the Commission
  • The Squamish Nation will deliver language programs & services consistent with the Strategy.
  • A mandate for the Director appointed to implement the policy to take all reasonable steps to partner with institutions to implement the strategy

ORAL PROFICIENCY CERTIFICATION

  • Authorizing the Commission to grant certificates on oral proficiency based on an approved oral proficiency guideline with:
    • Novice
    • Intermediate
    • Advanced
    • Superior
    • Distinguished
  • Appointing certified examiners with the powers to certify at each level.
  • Certifications last two years and must be renewed to maintain proficiency.
  • Maintain a registry of certified speakers.

TEACHER CERTIFICATION

  • Grant official Squamish Language Commission Teaching Certification
  • The purpose of the Squamish Language Commission Teaching Certification is to provide teacher certification within the regulations of the Teacher Regulation Branch.
  • The certification would be based on a process to be determined by the Commission that:
    • Have completed some level of training, formal or informal, to the satisfaction of the Commission.
    • Skilled in curriculum planning and implementation.
    • Skilled in classroom management
    • Skilled in proficiency assessment
  • Guidelines to be created by the Commission on what is required to be approved for teacher certification.

LANGUAGE PROTOCOL

  • The Squamish Nation will recognize full time and part time employees who are language speakers with a financial contribution connected to their certified proficiency level.
    • Ex. $1/hour for novice speakers = $1,920 bonus
    • Ex. $1.25/hour for intermediate = $2,400 bonus
    • Ex. $1.75/hour for advanced = $3,360 bonus
    • Ex. $2.50/hour for superior = $4,800 bonus
  • The Squamish Nation will require partners, external agencies, organizations, and governments to uphold the Language Protocol.

NAMING PROCESS

  • The Commission be responsible for name translation, creation, or officialising requests internal to the Squamish Nation, external to the Squamish Nation.
  • The Commission has the right to deny requests from external requests
  • The Commission must set out regulations for a process for formal requests
  • Fees may be applied for external requests to process requests.
  • The Director must keep a list of verified translators who may be recommended to third parties to contract for translation services.
  • The Language Commission or its own sub-committee may provide final verification/approval for official sanction.

FUNDING

The policy requires the policy implementation and official strategy implementation be costed and submitted as part of the Squamish Nation’s budgeting policy.

ACCOUNTABILITY & REPORTING

The Commission is required to report on its activities to Council annually and make their report publicly available.

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