Saturday, May 18, 2024

There’s an Indigenous languages exhibit coming to the Sidney Museum next week


If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of the Indigenous peoples whose traditional territory we live, work and play on, this is for you!

The Sidney Museum is thrilled to host the travelling exhibition, Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in BC from April 15th to July 24th.

There will be a blessing ceremony from the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council on opening day at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 15th.  

This special exhibition has been collaboratively designed by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and the Royal BC Museum, celebrating the resilience and diversity of Indigenous languages.

In Our Living Languages, you will learn what communities across the province are doing to actively ensure the survival of 34 different Indigenous languages and the importance of keeping them alive and thriving. 

In turn, you will also expand your own vocabulary and appreciation for these languages, as they are a vital part of culture, identity and connection.

“Languages, especially the languages we grow up with, are powerful and potent markers of identity and culture,” a media release reads.

“BC, one of the planet’s most linguistically diverse regions, is known as a linguistic “hotspot” because of the diversity and vitality of the First Nations languages in BC.”

Visitors will weave through interactive stations, both video and audio, creating an immersive opportunity to capture the complexity of these languages and the communities that work tirelessly to document and revitalize them.

To note, the Sidney Museum wanted to specifically highlight the local W̱SÁNEĆ language, SENĆOŦEN. 

Dave Elliot noticed a decline in the use of SENĆOŦEN amongst his people due to government policies and residential schools. 

So, in 1978, he created the SENĆOŦEN alphabet and since then, W̱SÁNEĆ communities have undergone tremendous efforts to carry this forward through school programs and adult lessons.

Learn all about that and more at the Sidney Museum!

Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in BC

  • Where: Sidney Museum, 2423 Beacon Avenue L-3
  • When: Runs from April 14th to July 24th
    • Opening ceremony: Monday, April 15th at 10 a.m.

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