Amy Charlie

Language: Nłeʔkepmxcín
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Home: Lytton
Years Working Towards Language Revitalization: 11

Currently, Amy is 72 years old but she doesn’t let her age slow her down. Amy Charlie, together with her late husband Edward Charlie, would always speak at meetings and gatherings in our language. Not only would they promote the language at the community level, but they would record the language and work with a language committee to develop a reader-friendly alphabet.

In cooperation with a local Band school, Amy has been instrumental in the development of three levels of language curricula to assist with revitalization efforts.

One of Amy's biggest accomplishments was to teach herself about computer technology and the ways it could assist her in her language efforts. She was quickly scanning photos to go with words that were being used for picture word association. She is a role model in the respect that you are never too old to learn new technology. She texts on her cell phone and finds this an amazing advantage to keep in touch with her children who live in communities away from her.

Since being widowed two years ago, Amy does more walking and dancing whenever the opportunity arises. She doesn’t turn down the opportunity to attend any meeting where language is going to be discussed or promoted and she recently attended a language conference at the University of Victoria. This June, Amy helped organize a Nlaka'pamux language gathering where storytelling in the language was a main feature.

Although Amy attended residential school, her grandmother taught her to never turn her back on her prayers, and Amy is now one of the most respected Elders who offers prayers in the language at countless community functions.

Amy is truly a language champion within our nation.

Nominated by John Haugen and Lytton First Nation Education Committee