Sm’algyax, Kitsumkalum’s true language
Sm’algyax is a dialect of the Tsimshian language spoken in northwestern British Columbia and southeastern Alaska.
The language of the people of Kitsumkalum is Sm’algyax. To put this language into a regional context, it it similar to the language of the Nisga’a and Gitksan people but very different from the language of the Haisla people in Kitamaat and the Haida people. When many newcomers came to the Skeena in the 19th century speaking English, Gaelic, and French as their mother tounges, Tsimshian people needed language training to communicate with them.
Language expertise was a skill taught in the past. Many Tsimshian received language training so they could travel widely amoung the nations of the northwest or learned foreign languages as a result of contact with people from other nations. Tsimshian oral histories are filled with stories of visits to other First Nations in what is now British Columbia, and when Europeans arrived Tsimshian travel was extended immediately to include more distant locations such as Hawaii, Asia, Europe and many other parts of the world. New language skills were acquired to interact with the new nationalities encountered in the colonial period, but the need for foreign languages fit into the older pattern. Today, however, there is an important difference in the need for other languages because the dominant language in the territory is no longer Sm’algyax but English. The colonial period resulted in English becoming the mother tongue of many Tsimshians.
*All spellings of the words in our language, Sm’algyax, are standardized to the spellings in People of the Robin: the Tsimshian of Kitsumkalum by James Andrew McDonald (2003) in order to remain consistent with other writings on this website. Much of the cultural content on this website can be referenced from James Andrew McDonald (2003), People of the Robin: The Tsimshian of Kitsumkalum book, Kitsumkalum Social History Research Projects and Kitsumkalum elders.
This software to adapts the normal keyboard of a computer for the special characters used in Sm’algyax. Download for free: Languagegeek.com/lgwp/keyboards/
Living Legacy Talking Dictionary
is a true Living Legacy of Sm’algyax. web.unbc.ca/~smalgyax/
Language Map of B.C.
Visit First Voices Language Map for more information regarding First Nation
languages in British Columbia.
Sm’algyax Interpretations for the Months in the Year
|February||Ha’liwilgisiyaask||North Wind Month|
|April||Ha’lilaxsis’waanax||Herring Roe Month|
|August||Ha’lilaxstmhoon||Pink Salmon Month|
Sm’algyax Interpretations for the Moons and the Seasons
|First day of Spring||Ksgoogm sah da Gooym|
|First day of Summer||Ksgoogm sah da Suunt|
|First day of Fall||Ksgoogm sah da Ksuut|
|First day of Fall||Ksgoogm sah da Goomsm|
Language Team Open House
Are you passionate about language revitalization? KITSUMKALUM is part of the Language Revitalization Planning Program (LRPP) funded by the First Peoples Cultural Council. COME MEET YOUR LANGUAGE TEAM Introductions, goals, and feedbackMarch 1st, 2023 6pm to...
Reclaiming My Language INFO Session FPCC
Click here to visit First Peoples' Cultural Council website for more information on "Reclaiming My Language. A Course for Silent Speakers"
One Year Anniversary – Raising Sm’algya̱x
Celebrate One Year of "Raising Sm’algya̱x" on Zoom: 843 2688 3100 Passcode: Limii
Kitsumkalum members are invited to participate in our language survey #2https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RTS5Z8S?fbclid=IwAR2gCKgFgBXiYvvearQeBFYRKY8CmPeeWYcTlN58LUYbyg-yyXfMTCtaF9g
Kitsumkalum members are invited to check out Kitsumkalum's Language Revitalization Program's second survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RTS5Z8S The survey is 12 questions long and you will receive a gift card for participating. Please share with other Kitsumkalum...
Kalum News Video Update Feb 26 2021 & Sm’algyax word of the Week!
The February 26, 2021 Weekly Video Update includes: - 3 Gift Card & T-shirt Draw Winners - **NEW** Sm’algyax word of the week - Election results - 4 Training and Job Opportunities - How to watch Hoobiyee Online And more helpful links
Join the Tea & Book Reading on Zoom: ‘Wii Amap’asm Hana’ax Sleeping Beauty Mountain
Join us for an Online Tea Party & Book Reading of ‘Wii Amap’asm Hana’ax: Sleeping Beauty Mountain. Fully translated Sm'algyax and English book by the late respected Kitsumkalum Elder Mildred Roberts. February 21, 2021, Sunday Time: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Join us on...
Join Sm’algyax Online Zoom Watercolour Paint Night
Everyone welcome! No experience necessary! A night to learn Sm'algyax while exchanging paint tips! Make sure to have a plate or plastic lid to mix colours on. Saturday February 20th, 2021 = 6:30-7:30pm Zoom Meeting ID: 893 0922 3784 Password: Maaxii Supported...
Kitsumkalum Language Planning Survey 1
Sm’algya̱x On Zoom
Sunday Sm'algyax - Raising Sm'algyax - Raising Sm’algya̱x Sm'algyax Kahoots - Nigyooks Sm'algyax Saturday Sm'algyax - Juneau Sm’algya̱x Learners (Message the Juneau Sm'algyax Learners group if you are interested in joining Saturday Sm'algyax)
Online Zoom Watercolour Paint Night JAN 23
Zoom Meeting: Topic: Sm'algyax Paint Night Time: Jan 23, 2021 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89774128378?pwd=UFl6ckpvVlY3bCtjOEo3UlpOd01QUT09 Meeting ID: 897 7412 8378 Passcode: Maaxii
Raising Sm’algya̱x – Nursery Rhymes Group – Wednesdays
Raising Sm’algya̱x - Nursery Rhymes Group on Zoom - Wednesdays, 12 pm to 1 pm Join on ZOOM :: https://bit.ly/2XgaRd8 Meeting ID :: 810 5407 7306 Passcode :: Luk’wilAam
Virtual Film Screening – Kitsumkalum Youth Groups June 4
Kitsumkalum Youth Groups Virtual Film Screening Thursday, June 4th, 2020 - 7:00 pm
POSTPONED Community Language Revitalization Planning March 26
POSTPONED: Kick-off Meeting & Dinner - March 26, 2020
Kitsumkalum Sm’algyax Class Registration 2020
Kitsumkalum puts up a stop sign in traditional language
In Photo: Mike Dangeli, Dr. Mique'l Dangeli & baby Hayetsk Dangeli, Shirley Bolan, Wayne Bolton, Cynthia Bohn Kitsumkalum puts up a stop sign in traditional language Thanks to grant funding from the First People’s Cultural Council, Kitsumkalum has plans for more...
INDIAN DAY SCHOOLS CLASS ACTION REGISTRATION FORM
Downlowd Application: Day-School-Registration-Form-v2 Website link: http://www.indiandayschools.com
Speaker Series Event – Luk’wil Smgyit Goo Sm’algya̱x March 2
‘Na Aksa Gyilak’yoo School is proud to announce that we’re hosting Sm’algyax speakers and teachers Medeeg (John Reece) and Al’lidaaw (Terri Burr) of Ketchikan and Metlakatla, Alaska. Everyone is welcomed to attend our event on Saturday March 2nd from noon to 4pm at a...
Postponed – Sm’algyax Language Lunch – April 24th
Culture Camp Committee Update
Culture Camp Committee Meetings on Wednesdays 4-5pm Band Office
Sm’algyax Lunch and Learn Classes
The class is now full. Here is an updated poster with all of the dates for the class.