Homalco culture and language

Revitalizing our past, looking toward the future

The Homalco First Nation, or Xwémalhkwu, are a Northern Coast Salish Nation, also called Mainland Comox. Our ancestral tongue ayʔaǰuθɛm, is from the Salishan Language family. Culture and language represent everything that we are as Homalco People. They hold our past, our traditions and our future. Ayʔaǰuθɛm is important as it is our culture and our traditional ways. We need to work hard to make sure our language is preserved and that it thrives. Practicing our culture is an important part of that work.

Our language: ayʔaǰuθɛm

Our ancestral tongue is ayʔaǰuθɛm, from the Salishan language family. It is shared with our neighbours the Tla’amin, Klahoose and K’ómoks, with dialectic differenciates in each community. Ayʔaǰuθɛm means “language of our People.” We are working to preserve ayʔaǰuθɛm by teaching it to children and parents through the Homalco Language Nest Program and archiving our recordings on First Voices. 

You can hear some of our language on First Voices

Check out our video here – Homalco First Voices

Homalco Language Nest Program

The Homalco Nation Language Nest Program is for children 0-5 years of age. It is our goal is to create new language speakers. Staff, volunteers and Elders carry out daily activities in the language nest program with the children. Children are immersed in the language and parents are encouraged to participate. The program also creates opportunities for parents to learn the language and incorporate it into their daily lives too. The program is offered daily. It is an open invitation for other kids to join, on and off reserve.

Language revitalization Facebook group

We are proud to have a Homalco language revitalization group on Facebook. It is run by the Language Recording Technicians for the First Voices Project. The group helps bring back the ayʔaǰuθɛm language and keep it alive for present and future generations. If you are on Facebook, you can join the Homalco Nation language revitalization group by clicking here.

Key Contacts

Marilyn Harry

Language Coordinator

(250) 923-3976 ext 5013

Malachi Joseph

First Voices Technician

(250) 923-3976 ext 5013

Jennifer Harry

First Voices Technician

(250) 923-3976 ext 5013