Spoken from the heart: Interview with Elmer Seniemten George
June 6, 2016
One of the distinguished individuals to receive an honorary degree at Spring 2016 Convocation June 14 is one of the last fluent speakers of Lekwungen, a dialect of the Northern Straits Salish peoples. Elder Elmer Seniemten George was interviewed by CBC’s On the Island host Gregor Craigie this week.
Here is an excerpt:
“Chief Andy Thomas came to me and asked if I wanted a job working on Indian language. At first I didn’t trust myself because I lost a lot of my language when they sent me to [residential school] because I had nobody to talk to in my own language. (…)
“Our language goes back a long ways. It’s something we have to be speaking to understand our own people. What they left with us – to teach us – was all in our own language. They always say, it’s spoken from the heart. It’s part of our culture.”