From the Director

14th Annual Lushootseed Language Conference

Lushootseed Research held the 14th Annual Lushootseed Language Conference on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the LeRoux Conference Center at Seattle University. The presentations included beautiful expressions in the Lushootseed language, powerful core ideas of Lushootseed cultures, and intriguing ideas for study and teaching Lushootseed. It was a pleasure to see almost every person attending in person, after previous conferences that were largely or partially online. Over 60 people were present. Another dozen people, who needed to attend virtually, were able to. The theme of the conference this year was:

ləx̌alus ʔə tiʔəʔ x̌əč̓usədəʔ

“Your eyes are lit up with the Traditional teachings from Mother Earth”

Jill tsisqʷux̌ʷaɬ LaPointe, Director of Lushootseed Research, had the inspiration to name this theme, to recognize the joy and excitement that are shared when teaching Lushootseed language and culture. Jill also gave the warm welcome and closing at the Conference. Father Patrick Twohy gave the opening prayer and welcome. John LaPointe was the emcee, often adding commentary that expanded on the cultural ideas of the sessions.

The sessions are summarized on the program. They included insight into Lushootseed language and cultural teaching at the Grandview Early Learning Center (Cynthia LaPlante, Puyallup Language Program). Software developer Paul Shannon and linguist David Beck (University of Alberta) presented a program that displays text in sync with audio playback, a tremendous resource. Musician Swil Kanim (Lummi) talked about his cultural inspirations and played a very moving violin composition for us. Warren Kinggeorge (Muckleshoot) and Elizabeth M. Swanaset Nooksack/Cowichan/Laq’a:mel) told how they cultivate cultural teachings when exploring and sharing traditional resources, encouraging all teachers to expand their classrooms to include this work. Mytyl Hernandez and Emilie Miller (both of the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center) reviewed the Museum’s current, powerful exhibit on Coast Salish traditional languages. And finally Zalmai ʔəswəli Zahir shared a wonderful dukʷibəɬ [Changer] story and related teachings.

Thanks to all who attended, since the connections among us are the life of the language and cultures.

Additional thanks to key groups. The Conference was co-sponsored by Seattle University, Office of the President and the Indigenous Peoples Institute. Support was provided by the Northwest Indian College, especially for those who received education credits. And support was also provided by the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe.

2024 Conference Poster