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Indigenous Language Spotlight: Hul'q'umi'num

We at Xyntax are always striving to learn more about Indigenous cultures and languages and thought we would share some resources for those of you who would also like to learn!

Today we are focusing on Hul'q'umi'num, one of three branches of the Halkomelum dialect and a traditional Coast Salish language spoken by many First Nations on the west coast of Canada such as Malahat Nation, Snaw-naw-as First Nation, Stz’uminus First Nation, Halalt First Nation, Penelakut Tribe, Lyackson First Nation, and Cowichan Tribes, among others.

(map resource: CICADA, originally from 2015 CICADA Conference presentation by Brian Thom and Kathleen Johnnie)

A few common phrases to get you started:



Huy ch q’u

Thank you



‘Uy’ Skweyul

Good day

‘I’ ch uw uy al

How are you?

‘I’ tsun uw uy al

I am well


Good bye

The University of Victoria has nine online lessons available with vocabulary and grammar resources available with visual, written, and audio aids:

Ladysmith Secondary School has a Hul'q'umi'num page with some basic phrases, written and audio:

Vancouver Island University Library Indigenous Languages page has a plethora of links, not only for Hul'q'umi'num but also Halq’eméylem and hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓. Resources such as maps, classroom resources, recordings, the Robert Munsch Project, cultural resources, dictionaries, keyboard maps can be found here:

PDF Downloads

Ecosystem Guide: A Hul'q'umi'num language guide to plants and animals of Southern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Island, and the Salish Sea

Download here

Cowichan Valley School District - Hul'q'umi'num Greetings QR Codes

Link here

School District No. 68 Hul'q'umi'num Dictionary 1997

Download PDF • 4.47MB

We hope you enjoy learning about Hul'q'umi'num language and Coast Salish culture as much as we do and encourage you to practice your words and phrases as much as possible with your friends and family.

Huy ch q'u

Thank you


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