Siyamiyateliot is a Language Champion because she is the last fluent native speaker of our Upriver Halq’emeylem language.
As a residential school survivor, she was one of those who deliberately struggled to keep her language. Today she is still completely fluent, and she has worked for more than 50 years with community language programs to develop books and lessons. She also works every week as a language mentor for her family and for her community.
She is one of the first Elders to learn to do language mentoring in-person and on video chat and in chat rooms. She does this every week with her family and community members. She is one of only a few Elders who has learned to record herself using the high quality First Voices recording kit; she even makes her own mp3s for the young people to listen to. She shares this audio with all the learners in our communities.
Every week Siyamiyateliot is available to share her language on time, on schedule, and working professionally with advanced technical equipment.
Siyam Siyamiyateliot is always patient, kind, and encouraging, and at the same time challenges us by teaching us the language in the language. She is a true champion for our language.
Nominated by Sto:lo Shxweli Staff