It is the dream of four young Salish people to revitalize the Salish Language and bring it back to the people. Nk̓ʷusm Salish Language Institute is the beginning of the realization of that dream.
Melanie Sandoval, Chaney Bell, Josh Brown, & Tachini Pete founded Nkwusm, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in 2002. The organization began with the mission of recreating a process where the language is passed from parent to child as once was common. The organization is comitted to revitalizing the Salish Language through development of a school and other community learning programs. Nkwusm operates 2 programs: Salish Language Apprentice Program and Snqwiiqwo Snacxlqimintn (The Place of Racing School) also referred to as Salish Language School.
Now in its 11th year, Nkwusm continues to lead the way in Salish language revitalization by operating Snqwiiqwo, the Flathead Reservation's only Salish Language pre-school and primary school. Nk̓ʷusm works to ensure the continuation of the language in the community by maintaining, enhancing and creating comprehensive Salish language education programs for youth and adults.
Nkwusm continues to seek funding to further develop and fully implement an adult immersion and teacher training program. All development is located in the Flathead Reservation.
The objectives of Nkwusm are to increase the number of quality materials available to teach the Salish language for primary students by creating a complete curriculum with materials and activities for the primary grades; increase the number of speakers through community participation in school activities and programs and the school's participation in community activities; increase the fluency of Salish speakers through participation in the school and the school's outreach programs; and ultimately recreating the process whereby the Salish language is passed from parent to child.