Our Living Languages

OLL web banner 1680x616 1 1024x375 Our Living Languages

“Our language is a gift to us from those who have gone before”

— Sharon Shadow, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations 


Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in British Columbia

Did you know that British Columbia has 34 distinct Indigenous languages? That’s more than 60% of all of Canada’s First Nations languages! Unfortunately, as a result of over 150 years of government policies designed to eradicate them, every one of BC’s First Nations Languages are severely endangered or nearly extinct. Visit our newest exhibit to discover the incredible diversity of First Nations languages in BC and the groundbreaking work underway to keep them alive.

Our Living Languages is a travelling exhibition from the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. Visitors will learn about the loss and revitalization of First Languages, and success stories of the language champions that are working to learn, teach and preserve our province’s Indigenous languages to share with future generations.

Visitors will witness the resilience of the languages and culture of BC’s First People and explore the deeper connections that language provides its users to their culture and way of seeing the world. Explore a language map of BC and learn how linguists develop orthographies (writing) for languages that were traditionally never written down. Hear stories told by speakers in a multitude of languages and learn something new! In partnership with the Sncəwips Heritage Museum and The Syilx Language House, the Kelowna Museums Society has added additional content to the exhibition to highlight nsyilxcən  ̶  the syilx/Okanagan language. Stop by for a visit and practice a traditional nsyilxcən greeting!

This exhibition runs from September 19, 2020 to January 31, 2021


For more information contact Amanda Snyder, Curatorial Manager at

asnyder@kelownamuseums.ca / 250.763.2417 ext 29


Our Living Languages

Produced by the Royal BC Museum

In partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council

Supported by the Government of Canada


Kelowna Museums Society would like to thank our community and institutional partners and supporters:

Sncəwips Heritage Museum
The Syilx Language House

City of Kelowna
Heritage Canada
Province of BC
BC Arts Council

Discover the culture and heritage of the Okanagan by exploring your Kelowna Museums.