Ktunaxa Language

The Ktunaxa language is an integral part of our identity as a nation and a community. It is known as a cultural isolate language – an exceptionally unique language unlike and unrelated to any other in the world – and it is critically endangered.

Our goal at ʔaq'am is to foster fluent Ktunaxa language speakers with strong cultural skills and knowledge. Because we believe it is critical to begin Ktunaxa language education as early as possible and to encourage the development of Ktunaxa language skills among children and parents alike, we try make language lessons and resources easily accessible to all learners. We teach our language and culture at ʔaq̓amnik’ School and through programs like Head Start and we fully support and honour fluent speakers, learners and teachers.

We continue to record and document the Ktunaxa language to ensure that it is accessible to future generations. Through the Ktunaxa Community Portal on FirstVoices.com, online visitors can read, listen to, and learn words, phrases, songs, stories, games and more. Learners can also access the Ktunaxa Language app – a media-rich bilingual dictionary and phrase collection comprised of words and phrases archived at the online Aboriginal language database FirstVoices.com – through iTunes.

The College of the Rockies also offers an online University Studies course in Basic Ktunaxa. The program aims to help students develop the skills, strategies and resources to support the revitalization of Ktunaxa language in their homes, their schools and their communities.

To learn more about the Ktunaxa language, watch Living the Language - Canada: The Ktunaxa, a short and fascinating documentary produced by Al Jazeera, which chronicles the history of our language and the efforts being made to preserve it.