Tlahowya tillikum! (Hello, friend!)

Chinook Wawa is intimately linked with the history of British Columbia. It was widely spoken 100 years ago throughout the province by aboriginal and non-aboriginal people, but today there is only one remaining speaker who learned it from native elders. Despite this, older people in British Columbia still use Chinook words in their vocabulary and there are hundreds of place names around the province. Chinook Wawa was developed at a time of mutual respect and is an inspiration for the future.

Professor Jay Powell has the dedicated his life to helping revitalize First Nations languages and his relationships with speakers enabled him to learn Chinook Wawa.

VIDEO: Jay Powell interviewed by Sam Sullivan in Chinook Wawa

Jay wrote a curriculum which he taught at Langara College in the 1970s. Students used this as a language credit to get into UBC. But no one has maintained the language as Professor Powell has called for.

The BC Chinook Wawa Group is looking for people to respond to the call of Jay Powell and commit to learning the language and reviving it in our province. This will be no easy task and will take great effort.

Let us know if you would like to get involved!

Chinook wawa klonas-kunsih: 1 kopa 10.

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BC Chinook Wawa was formed by students of Jay Powell, the only remaining person in British Columbia who learned Chinook Wawa from native elders. Jay developed a curriculum and taught Chinook Wawa at Langara College in the 1970s. Some students used it as a language credit to get into the University of British Columbia.

Many of the people Jay influenced wanted to respond to his call to help revitalize this important language of BC history.

One of Jay’s students, Global Civic Policy Society founder Sam Sullivan, worked with him to contribute an article on Chinook Wawa to the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Jay and Sam have also hosted several immersion weekends and developed more learning materials.

Currently they are running an online Chinook Wawa study group. For more information, please get in touch using the contact form at the bottom of this page.