The mission of the Samish Language Program is to revitalize and reclaim the Samish Language (Xws7ámeshqen) to enrich spirituality, dignity, and identity. By educating all Samish in our language, we aim to preserve and strengthen our sovereignty, history, and cultural ways; to promote traditional values; and to improve the quality of life for the Samish people.
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Samish Language Program:
The Xws7ámeshqen Program is authorized by Tribal Council to plan, develop, and implement the preservation and revitalization of Xws7ámeshqen with the additional goal to encourage tribal members to be Xws7ámeshqen teachers. As such, the Master Apprentice method (Hinton 2002) along with the 13 Moons Curriculum (Saanich) is being adapted for teacher training.
Additionally, the Xws7ámeshqen Program provides technical support to Samish staff and the Samish community, often on a person-to-person basis. By engaging at this level, the Xws7ámeshqen Program is able to tailor support to specific needs.
The Xws7ámeshqen Program is forever grateful for the interviews linguist Brent Galloway recorded more than twenty-five years ago with Victor Underwood Sr. and Lena Daniels, two fluent speakers of the Samish dialect. Their vocal gift offers each new generation the chance to keep their breath alive.
Samish Language Committee:
The Samish Language Program is guided and advised by the Samish Language Committee. The committee welcomes new participants who are interested in revitalizing Xws7ámeshqen. During meetings, in addition to regular committee business, time is spent discussing Xws7ámeshqen education.