Lummi Language and Schelangen Department

Lummi Language and Schelangen Department

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

The Lummi Language and Schelangen Department has, at the request of the Lummi Nation and the broader community, developed the land acknowledgement resolution which was passed by tribal council on June 15, 2021. This land acknowledgement is the basis of the one presented in the event program. Land acknowledgments are intended to be a powerful way to respect and honor indigenous peoples and is one way to resist erasure of indigenous histories, honoring and inviting the truth, while also supporting overall increased connection among community members.

The Lummi language is called Xwlemi’ Chosen. As part of colonialization of the lands inhabited by Native Americans, native languages were forbidden to be spoken.  Much of native learning is done in the oral tradition—wisdom and knowledge passed from generation to generation through spoken word–much language and culture was at risk of being lost.

The Lummi Language and Schelangen Department is essential to the Lummi Nation in its effort to reclaim and restore language and culture for the wellbeing of its people for generations to come.

The department is at the center of development and implementation of Xwlemi’ Chosen resources that help teach and share the traditional language of the Lummi people and promote indigenized educational opportunities for the greater community. The language department has served over 300 K through 12 students enrolled in Whatcom County to learn Lummi culture and language.

Their leadership continues to expand reach and engagement within our region while strengthening relationships and uplifting pride and confidence in being the Lhaq’temish, the Lummi people.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Lummi Language and Schelangen Department is recognized, click here.