Spoken from the heart: Interview with Elmer Seniemten George

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.”

Listen to the entire interview.