Our Language

History of the Language

Secwépemctsin – Language of the Secwépemc

Secwépemctsin contains the cultural, ecological, and historical knowledge which includes: values, beliefs, rituals, songs, stories, social and political structures, and spirituality of the people. The Secwépemc view all aspects of their knowledge, including language, as vitally linked to the land. This knowledge, passed down to the next generation orally, contained the teaching necessary for the maintenance of Secwépemc culture and identity.

As the Secwépemc were given the land; they were also given a language. Language was given to the Secwépemc by the Creator for communication to the people and to the natural world. This communication created a reciprocal and cooperative relationship between themselves and the natural world which enabled the Secwépemc to survive and flourish in harsh environments. For example, the Secwépemc receive messages from the animals and birds who tell them when it is time to harvest and gather certain foods and medicines. The cricket will tell the Secwépemc when it is time to catch the salmon.