Inchelium Language and Culture Association Executive Director Stevey Seymour stands under a skylight in the Inchelium Language House, where nselxcin, or Okanogan, language is featured on a wall behind her on Feb. 9.

INCHELIUM—ILCA director Stevey Seymour announced Monday the Inchelium Language and Culture Association has received a highly competitive $1 million, 3-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans that well help the Colville reservation based group further their work for language revitalization.

“This grant was written to establish a stronger intergenerational relationship between fluent speakers and elders to parents and children,” Seymour wrote in a message to Tribal Tribune. “We want to connect the dots and fill in the age gaps. While teaching the young is great and absolutely necessary, it is very important that we can create new speakers who will also be raising their children in the language.”

In 2013, ILCA worked with the Colville Tribes to receive an ANA Esther Martinez Immersion grant, which—said Seymour—was used to “build language capacity at the Inchelium Child Care and build a learning nest there.”

That grant ended last month.

As always, said Seymour, ILCA will continue with newly established, annuals events such as the December chaptik, salmon ceremonies and organization of the canoe journey that saw regional tribes travel again to Kettle Falls this June.

With the new grant, Seymour estimated a potential of up to 21 new positions to be created to further the program’s goal of facilitating generational learning.

A second grant, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the amount of $50,000 will allow ILCA to bring high school age students to the language house.

CBC also approved in May a resolution supporting ILCA in applying for a second ANA grant that could potentially see a community coordination demonstration project established in Inchelium.

Seymour expects to hear back on that grant in October.  

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