Skwxwú7mesh Nách’en: Xwech’shí7 tlʼa Nexwníneẁ iy Sneẁíyelh
Squamish Praxis the interspace of Upbringing and the Teachings

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Thesis type
(Thesis) Ed.D.
Date created
In Canada, First Nations languages are in a grave state of decline. Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) is a critically endangered language. In Circle, a form of knowledge gathering that has been adapted for this research, co-participants take up the two notions of nexwnínew̉ and snew̉íyelh (upbringing and the teachings). The premise in the research is that Skwxwú7mesh people are engaged in a socialization process, which has at the crux an intergenerational pedagogy of Skwxwú7mesh language, culture, and knowledge re-generation enculturated through family relations in formal and informal ways manifest in their nexwnínew̉ and snew̉íyelh. Based upon the cultural practice Utsám̉ Chiỷáxw (Called to Witness) protocol co-participants become the Witnesses called to “put words to the floor”. This study uses an emergent Skwxwú7mesh theory called Nch’u7mút (united as one) that privileges the Swa7ám̉ (Ancestors) epistemological and ontological knowledge systems. Four principles wanáxw̉s (respect), smenálhwit (dignity), áyatway (kindness), and chénchenstwaywit (support for one another) shape the theory. Xay Sts’its’áp’ (Sacred Work) is a Skwxwú7mesh chiỷáxw (protocol) that frames this dissertation. I use the term Work italicized and capitalized to symbolize respect for the ceremony of research. The findings offer the reader, the co-participant’s critical insights into the Skwxwú7mesh moral universe and the connection of language to land.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Mamchur, Carolyn
Thesis advisor: Smith, Graham
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