In July, Yutelx Bell invited neighbours to learn some nsyilxcən through a group painting session. Held outdoors in the beautiful architectural space in front of the Osoyoos Indian Band’s band office, the day opened with the Okanagan Song, and then led to the group learning and repeating the salutations and departure words, “wayaʔ” specific to Oliver.

As people painted, Bell introduced new nsyilxcən words for different colours and the subject matter being painted, such as the mountains and sky. She also translated any specific language requests that came up. “So the language was really incorporated into the whole process!”

The workshop was a huge success, with Bell now planning a paint and language workshop series. “I’m really excited, and I can attribute it to my experience in facilitating the initial workshop with the help of the Neighborhood Small Grant Award.”

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