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



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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


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

Stay Connected
320 Seymour Blvd, North Vancouver, BC, V7L 4J5