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CULTURE AND LANGUAGE

The Culture and Language Team is committed to incorporating nłeʔkepmx and syilx language and cultural practices into SCFSS services and programs. Through the wisdom of our Elders and Knowledge Keepers, we share cultural teachings and language with children, young people, families, care providers, and staff. We incorporate land-based cultural practices for healing, and consistently increase culturally grounded programs and services using traditional knowledge and values.

 

As our staff returned to in-person engagement after the COVID-19 quarantine environment, our Elders were excited to return to duties. The mental health of our Elders was a priority as we navigated the pandemic. Elders began supporting our programs and services in-person and received referrals on a gradual basis. The Elders were available to staff for guidance, support, and decision making. Our team hosted several Family Tree Fridays where Elders supported staff in developing client family trees.

 

Our Elders have played an integral part in conversations around the strategic priority of “How to Bring our Children Home” and what reunification looks like for our children and young people.

 

With health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, we found creative ways to continue our language teachings. While we did not run a new Language Nest Program in the Fall, we met with our 4 nłeʔkepmx communities to plan for a mobile Language Nest Program to be brought into each community. Our Language Teacher took an education leave to advance her nłeʔkepmxcin education, and we continue to utilize her services on a contract basis to provide ongoing language lessons to staff. This year, many staff completed nłeʔkepmxcin level 1 and level 2.

 

This year, our team had many opportunities for collaboration; we worked with the Kwustemtima on the creation of cultural care plans for our syilx young people. We collaborated with School District #58 by supporting an after-school program with our Elders joining in the activities, and our Cultural Program Coordinator developed opportunities for cultural learning. After the 215 announcement, fires, and floods, our team held brushing off sessions for staff and community to support healing. The Culture and Language Team planned, developed, and facilitated many cultural and language opportunities, as seen in our seasonal Medicine Wheel of programs, events, and services.

Zm̓én̓m Language Nest 

We bring together fluent speaker Elders, caregivers, parents, and children aged 0-5 to enhance language learning through immersion. We incorporate cultural activities into our regular days and go on field trips at least once a month. As well we take a multi-generational approach, providing weekly lessons for parents and caregivers so they may confidently participate in our program and comfortably bring the language into their homes. Learning is play based and allows us to have genuine conversations between our participants.  

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Elders Team 

Our Elders work with us every day and are involved in every facet of our Society, sharing wisdom and teachings to help guide our decision making. Elders are committed to working with the community, families, young people, and internal teams. 

Cultural Program Coordinators 

Cultural Program Coordinators develop and facilitate programs for Scw’exmx peoples, helping retain and spread knowledge of traditional teachings and practices. Programs in the past have included language lessons, basket making, hide curing, dipnet making, and more. 

 

They also work closely with Care Providers to ensure young people in care stay tied to their culture,  helping implement Family Care Plans. 

Our Cultural Program Coordinators work to develop and implement cultural training, and to incorporate culture and language firmly in all our programs and services. From the moment they are hired staff are introduced and guided through the culture and language by our Cultural  

Scw'exmx Child & Family Services Society

We are all somebody's 7th generation.