Students pass exam speaking traditional Nsyilxcn language

Two students of the Syilx Language House Association have passed their first oral exam intended to preserve their traditional language.
Image Credit: Syilx Language House Association

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Two Westbank First Nation students have completed an oral exam aimed at preserving their traditional language.

Jordan Coble and Flynn Wetton completed their first exam that is part of a four-year Nsyilxcn language program that began in September 2015.

The exam was given in front of fellow students, teachers and visitors on Nov. 25.

"Jordan and Flynn showed courage, pride, and respect while giving their oral exams. Thank you Jordan and Flynn for representing WFN with such dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership in an effort to preserve the Nsyilxcn language," WFN member Thomas Konek says.

Led by Michele Johnson, the Syilx Language House Association is a non-profit society in Penticton with a mission to develop and support new Nsyilxcn speakers. The Syilx Nation is made up of the Okanagan Indian Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band, Upper Nicola Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band, Lower and Upper Similkameen Indian Bands, the Upper Nicola Band and Colville Confederated Tribes.

The program offers immersion classes, teacher training, recordings of Elders speaking and language publication.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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