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Ktunaxa Nation works to keep language alive for new generations

The Yaqan Nukiy Pow Wow. Photo from Facebook

The Ktunaxa Nation in British Columbia is down to just a few fluent speakers of its language but a community school is keeping hope alive for future generations.

Enrollment at Yaqan Nu?kiy, located on the Lower Kootenay Reserve, has quadrupled student enrollment in three years, Public Radio International reported. Principal Karen Smith attributes the growth to the school's focus on teaching the Ktunaxa language.

"We have somehow caught on in the community and [become] a school of choice," Smith told PRI.

Jenni Jacobs, whose grandmother is among the few fluent speakers, has learned Ktunaxa and is a language and cultural teacher at the school.

In the U.S., speakers of the language can be found among members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana and the Kootenai Tribe in Idaho but fluency has been an issue.

Read More on the Story:
The World in Words: A new generation of Canadians are learning this language, and not all of them are tribal members (Public Radio International 8/18)