NIC brings Likʷala/Kwak’wala and Nuu-chah-nulth language courses to campus

  • Dec. 14, 2018 6:00 a.m.

The Comox Valley campus of North Island College. (File photo)

NIC will offer introductory Likʷala /Kwak’wala and Nuu-chah-nulth language courses in Campbell River and the Comox Valley for the first time this January.

“I am excited and grateful that we are able to offer these beginning language courses in Campbell River and the Comox Valley,” said NIC Adult Basic Education instructor Sara Child, who developed the Kwak’wala course.

“These courses support adult learners in obtaining relevant credits to achieve their Dogwood diploma,” she added. “But, more importantly, they help our students and communities by supporting revitalization of our precious languages.”

NIC first offered the courses in Port Hardy and Port Alberni, as part of its commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, including the development of programs, courses and research opportunities informed by Aboriginal ways of knowing and being.

Both courses are tuition-free. They are based on immersive learning and listening techniques. They are scheduled weekday evenings to allow people working during the day to attend. The first classes begin the week of January 14 and everyone is invited to participate.

The Campbell River campus sits on the traditional territory of the Ligʷiłdax̌ʷ Nation where the dialect is Likʷala. The Introduction to Kwak’wala (KWA-096) course incorporates the Likʷala language and brings local speakers and those with language knowledge into the classroom.

It is available at the Comox Valley and Campbell River campuses and focuses on the basic conversation, structure and pronunciation of Kwak’wala in a setting focused on listening and speaking. Topics include greetings, social interactions, community and more. Students will also learn about the vital role of the language to Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw First Nation members and develop strategies to support learning their Indigenous languages.

Meaning “all along the mountains and sea,” the Nuu-chah-nulth language is spoken by 14 Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations made up of 10,000 members in three regions on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.

Introduction to Nuu-Chah-nulth Language (NCN-096) is offered at NIC’s Campbell River campus and allow students to develop listening techniques to compare and contrast Nuu-chah-nulth and English sound patterns and pronunciation, as well as learn words phrases and greetings to communicate at home, in class and with Elders.

To learn more about the courses or to register, visit www.nic.bc.ca/aboriginal-education/aboriginal-curriculum/.

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