Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Language Conservancy announce new resources to empower Salish language revitalization

Collaboration includes release of children’s books and online dictionary for Cowlitz Coast Salish language learners

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe and The Language Conservancy (TLC) have announced the release of new and improved Cowlitz Coast Salish language learning materials for children and adults. These resources include two new captivating children’s picture books titled Our Family Is Visiting Us and Eating Together along with updates to the Cowlitz Coast Salish Online Dictionary, available for free online access and mobile download.

Our Family Is Visiting Us introduces Early Learners to words associated with the five senses through a heartwarming story of Grandma visiting her family. The book also includes vocabulary related to body parts. Eating Together teaches developing learners about subtraction and different foods through a tale about a raccoon family.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this series of language learning picture books aims to foster curiosity, engagement, and confidence in children. By exploring new subjects and experiencing stories that uphold values like respect, humility, fair play, kindness, and kinship, children are encouraged to learn while also developing a love for reading. Additionally, these books contribute to the development of math and reasoning skills, inspiring young minds for their future endeavors.

The Cowlitz Coast Salish Online Dictionary has been updated to feature over 3,000 total entries and numerous sentence examples in the Cowlitz Coast Salish language. Updates include an improved search function, usage guide, and enhanced accessibility with dark/light mode options. Content and definitions have also been revised.

“Providing resources that help members engage with our language is one of the most important ways to preserve Cowlitz Tribal history and culture,” said Cowlitz General Council Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. “We are deeply grateful for the partnership of the Language Conservancy in developing the Cowlitz Coast Salish Dictionary and vocab builder app, and we can’t wait to share these wonderful new children’s books with the next generation of Cowlitz leaders. When we provide the opportunity for tribal youth to learn our language, we carry forward our ancestors’ teachings for generations to come.”

This announcement adds to the long history of collaboration between the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and TLC, including:

• Four children’s books –I saw a skunk!, What are they doing?, Our Family Is Visiting Us, and Eating Together, with iOS and Android media players for activating audio storytelling;

• Cowlitz Coast Salish Dictionary online, Android mobile, and iOS mobile resources;

• Cowlitz Coast Salish Vocab builder app for iOS and Android.

“It is a real honor to be a part of this transformative journey that Cowlitz Indian Tribe is making to revitalize their language,” said CEO of The Language Conservancy Wilhelm Meya. “Language serves as a vital cornerstone in celebrating and preserving cultural heritage, and it is truly historic to have the opportunity to support the reconstruction of the Cowlitz Coast Salish language. The Cowlitz people are extraordinary, and we feel privileged to be working hand in hand to empower the community and future generations of speakers.”

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