Educator / Public Speaker
A selection of media pieces featuring Khelsilem.
"Skwomesh language revitalized by First Nation youth through DIY immersion"
by Duncan McCue, Feb 2015
A trio of 20-somethings is carving pot roast, in a typical-looking kitchen in a typical-looking apartment in North Vancouver.
But conversation here is unlike anywhere else in the world.
"A stl'i7 u kwi stak̲w?" asks Khelsilem, as he heaps potatoes on a plate for his sister, Jaymyn La Valle.
"En stl'i7 kwi stak̲w," replies Joshua Watts — pointing to a water glass.
North Shore News
"A house for language: Squamish immersion program inspired by dream of elders"
by Brent Richter, Feb 2014
It started with a dream in his teen years.
Khelsilem, the Squamish Nation activist, was visited by his elders, speaking to him in their traditional language.
As a child growing up on the Xwmelch’sten (Capilano 5) Reserve and Eslhá7an (Mission) Reserve, he had some exposure to the language — mainly words that had ceremonial or cultural significance — but no sustained study or conversation. Yet in the dream, he understood everything the elders said to him.
"Tribal Journeys Reclaiming the Squamish Nation's canoe culture"
by Cathryn Atkinson, Aug 2014
Picking up speed, two dugout canoes sliced through the water past the log sort on the Mamquam Blind Channel in Squamish and into Howe Sound. It was the start of an adventure of a lifetime.
And a few others:
Chantelle Bellrichard, CBC, Jan 2015
"According to 2014 data, there are only seven fluent speakers of Squamish Nation’s language in B.C. Khelsilem is dedicated to keeping it from going extinct. He’s nearly fluent now, but says it will take a lot more people to reverse the decline. "
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