Panelists: Dr. Tami Hohn, McKenna Dorman, Nancy Jo Bob, Ken Workman, Eileen Richardson, and Valerie Bellack
In partnership with the University of Washington
Learn about the unique qualities of the Lushootseed language, the cultural importance of the language, and the various language revitalization efforts happening at schools, organizations, families, tribes, and institutions across the Puget Sound. The event will begin with a special welcome from Ken Workman, the Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson of Chief Seattle. Panelists include Lushootseed teachers and speakers from various Coast Salish tribes.
Meet the Panelists
Nancy Jo Bob
Learn more about Nancy Jo Bob’ Lushootseed language teaching: https://www.plu.edu/prism/prism-2019/southern-lushootseed/
McKenna Sweet Dorman
McKenna Sweet Dorman is an enrolled member of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and has worked on protection of cultural resources, preservation of sacred sites including Snoqualmie Falls, land reclamation, and documenting Snoqualmie culture and history with tribal elders to share with future generations. Sweet Dorman has been an active participant in her tribe her entire life where she was surrounded by spiritual teachers, elders, and tribal leaders who shared teachings, culture, and language.
Dr. Tami Hohn
Language Program Director at the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Hear from Eileen Richardson “How to say Muckleshoot & Muckleshoot Language in Southern Lushootseed Language”: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3308951122659358
Ken Workman is the Great-Great-Great-Great Grandson of Chief Seattle. He is a retired Systems and Data Analyst from Boeing’s Flight Operations Engineering Department, he is a former Duwamish Tribal Council member as well as a former Duwamish Tribal Services 501(c)(3) President. Ken is a member of the Duwamish Tribe, the first people of Seattle, and a current board member of two non-profit organizations, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Today Ken enjoys retired life living on a river in the mountains east of Seattle.
About the Lushootseed Language
"Lushootseed is a language spoken by various indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. It is a member of the Salish language family, which is comprised of approximately twenty surviving languages. While Salish languages are spoken from central British Columbia to Northern Oregon, Lushootseed is the indigenous language of much of Western Washington. It was historically spoken from Olympia in the south up through Skagit in the north, and spread as far east as the Cascade Mountains. Lushootseed has two prominent dialects, Northern Lushootseed and Southern Lushootseed. The name Lushootseed is itself a combination of two words meaning “Salt Water” and “Language”, and refers to both the Northern and Southern dialects. Below is a map of the area the various tribes of Washington State once inhabited, along with the languages they spoke.
At one point in time, Lushootseed was spoken by approximately twelve thousand people across the greater Puget Sound area. Though the language was once prominent in the region, it underwent a sharp decline after the Treaty of Point Elliott. The decline was largely brought about when thousands of young Native Americans were forced to attend boarding schools in the 1880’s through the 1920’s. In a concerted effort of forced assimilation, these boarding schools punished the use of Lushootseed, and as a result the language experienced a severe decrease in speakers. This was only made worse by economic pressures, as English was the language required to find work during this period in time."
"The names for Lushootseed varies between the tribes. They include:
- dxʷləšucid for the Tulalip/Snohomish and all other Lushootseed tribes to the north
xʷəlšucid for Muckleshoot and Snoqualmie
txʷəlšucid for all other tribes
Lushootseed was originally spoken by several groups. The Northern groups included: Swinomish, Skagit, Upper Skagit, Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, Snohomish and Skykomish. The Southern groups include: Suquamish, Duwamish, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Nisqually and Squaxin. The two primary dialects of Lushootseed are Northern Lushootseed and Southern Lushootseed. The boundary between the two dialects is roughly the Snohomish and King County lines north of Seattle."
Language map from native-land.ca