By JENNA CEDERBERG
of the Missoulian
Four thousand new doses of medicine for the Salish language arrived at the Nkwusm language immersion school in Arlee this summer.
The second edition of Nkwusm executive director Tachini Pete’s Salish language translation dictionary was printed in hardback form in August and copies are now being housed in the school where students learn the Native language each day.
The book, “Selis nyo?nuntn: Medicine for the Salish Language” includes English to Salish translations in the updated, streamlined form.
A scholar of the language for 16 years, Pete knows elders are elders and won’t be around forever. Around 50 fluent Salish speakers remain today, and few are under the age of 75.
“That’s always been my motivation, that other people could learn, not just me. I just want to provide the best tool they can have,” Pete said.
It’s the first time the language has been presented in this form so completely. Pete’s first edition was 186 pages long. The latest edition boasts 816 pages. It’s not only filled in with a treasure trove of new words and information, but it’s in a more useable form, Pete said.