Elsie Archie

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Language: Secwepemctsín
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Home: Canim Lake

Years Working Towards Language Revitalization: 25+

Elsie Archie is a highly respected Elder in the Canim Lake community. She is one of the few fluent speakers and writers of the Shuswap language.

Elsie has been involved with language in the community through many activities, including language immersion summer camps for the children in the community and the development of learning resources and teaching units for School District #27. She is developing units for instruction on a continual basis and the culture of the Shuswap people is integrated into the activities. She has taught adult classes and has been instrumental in developing tapes that will be digitized onto CD's and delivered to each home within the community.

Elsie works with the language committee for the Northern Shuswap Bands. The language committee meets to review what has been happening with the language in each of the communities and to brainstorm ideas of how to incorporate the language into the communities. The language committee has set a goal for each of the communities to be fluent in the language in 5 years.

Elsie has received her B. Ed. from Gonzaga University and her B.A. in Linguistics from Simon Fraser University.

In her retirement, Elsie is teaching at 100 Mile Junior Secondary and Peter Skene Ogden Secondary. She teaches full Shuswap classes to grade 8 - 12 students.

She is now being encouraged to develop the Mac Books of cultural activities and Elder stories in the Shuswap Language with the children. The first example will be presented at the Language Conference (workshop sessions 1A and 2A) when we bring the pictures and the language from our Gustafson Lake cultural fishing day. We have applied for a Literacy Now grant to produce 40 books for our community.

Nominated by Barb MacLeod