The front cover of the newly-unveiled book (Photo courtesy of Okanagan Nation Alliance)

New book helps to preserve Okanagan First Nation’s language

Okanagan Nation interdiscplinary artist Billie Kruger launched a new book called “Blue Coyote”

The Okanagan Nation Alliance officially has one more resource to help preserve the nsyilxcәn language.

Okanagan Nation interdisciplinary artist Billie Kruger launched her new book “Blue Coyote” during a wellness forum at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on Tuesday.

The book introduces common vocabulary in the nsyilxcәn language through the storytelling of a Blue Coyote.

According to the Okanagan Nation Alliance website, the book will serve as an education tool for First Nation’s looking to learn more about the Syilx way of life.

“It will create a greater awareness of mental health issues while providing an opportunity for greater mindfulness of the importance cultural identity and community play in the well-being of First Nations,” said the website.

“A growing body of research shines a light on how such connections to community and land cannot only prevent, but also restore physical, mental and spiritual well-being of our people. These cultural practices of connecting to our land have always been an intrinsic part of Syilx life.”

Before the book, Billie already held an impressive background in First Nation language activities. She studied at the En’owkin Centre in Penticton and is a speaker of the nsyilxcәn language.

According to the Okanagan Nation Alliance website, the nsyilxcən language is spoken in all districts of the Syilx/Okanagan territory with varying dialects. Syilx/Okanagan traditional territory spans from present day Revelstoke, BC to the north to Wilbur, Washington in the south.

For more information on the book, you can visit the Okanagan Nation Alliance website.

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