Skip navigation

Healing Through Language

Holistic Native recognizes the vital and indispensable community and cultural role played by learning, speaking, and sharing our Native languages. Our languages are healing. They were one of the first things taken from us during colonization, and to learn and teach them today is to build wellness for individuals and communities.

Revitalizing Native Languages

One of Holistic Native’s areas of program focus is the preservation and revitalization of Native languages. Because colonization has thoroughly disrupted the intergenerational acquisition of language in our communities, and because our few remaining fluent speakers are aging, the time to build programs that preserve, record, and pass on our languages must be now.

Along with feeling the urgency to undertake this preservation work, we celebrate the new tools, understandings, and strategies that are available for teaching languages today in communities and classrooms. We are supported and encouraged by apps and online dictionaries, Native teachers who have studied linguistics and language acquisition, and success stories from programs around the country.

To support our work with Native language revitalization, please donate to Holistic Native or ask about partnering.

Building Community Language Programs

Holistic Native offers expertise to help indigenous language programs build capacity. Through our consultation and workshops on language education, we shed light on tools, teaching methods, and language acquisition best practices that are relevant across different languages and varied Native communities.

We also assist Native language programs in considering questions of sustainability and program design, enabling them to create effective and lasting language revitalization programs that are deeply rooted in their communities and cultures. If you are a language program in a Native community that is seeking assistance in any of these areas, please contact us.

Nov. 30 – Native Languages Workshop

On November 30, a Native languages workshop will be presented by Cree Whelshula, the Training and Technical Assistance Director for the Native Language Community Coordination Center. Fluent speaker support will be provided by Herman Edward and Johnny Arlee. Participants will receive a certificate upon completing the training.

Workshop: Salish Grammar Workshop

Date: Saturday, November 30

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Location: Coeur d’Alene Casino – Chatcolet Room, 37914 South Nukwalqw, Worley, ID 83876

Cree Whelshula (Coeur d’Alene Tribe) is a subject matter expert on Native language revitalization efforts, second language acquisition, and best practices in language teaching. She has been studying and speaking nslxcin (Okanogan Salish) since she was 7 years old. With her diverse experience in mentor–apprentice models, immersion, early childhood development, and administrative partnerships, Cree supports the needs and improves the outcomes of indigenous language revitalization programs across the nation in her role as the Training and Technical Assistance Director for the Native Language Community Coordination Center.

How to Get Involved