Studio9 School of the Arts in Kelowna is replacing the French language stream in the school with Nsyilxcən, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation.
The studio is one of the few non-Indigenous schools that offer Indigenous language as the main or only second language at the school.
Executive director Michael Guzzi said that the key reason to offer Nsyilxcən is that it is “the real original history of this land.”
“It is perfect for an arts-focused school because of the rich cultural and artistic nature of the language.”
He said that the staff at the school have embraced the Indigenous principles of learning and the richness of the First People’s culture of teaching.
Principal Cadence Trites said that they “believe that education naturally brings forth the opportunity to establish mutually respectful relationships between people of different cultures and beliefs. Learning the traditional culture and language of our local Indigenous peoples is a great step towards ensuring that the journey of reconciliation continues with our youth.”
The course will be delivered to grades four through nine by speakers and Westbank First Nations Archeologist Jasmine Peone.