Ktunaxa for Tots curriculum is a new Ktunaxa language program designed
by Paqmi Nuqyuk Aboriginal Early Years employee, Chelsea Nicholas.
The program developed by Nicholas, in collaboration with the Little
Badger's Learning Centre, was designed to help children under the
age of six connect with their culture and language. It is at this
age when children have the greatest capacity to learn something
that they can carry with them the rest of their lives.
believe that every person in the world is entitled to an identity,"
said Nicholas. "Learning their traditional language is one
of the many ways of providing Ktunaxa children a key piece towards
developing their own identity. Having a role in that is both an
honour and a privilege."
Ktunaxa language is an isolate, which means there are no other languages
like it in the world. Currently there are only a handful of fluent
speakers, and it is officially classified as critically endangered
of becoming extinct.
is vital that we do all that we can for our future generations,"
said Nicholas. "Many efforts have been put into language preservation,
promotion and delivery over the years, and I am happy to be part
of the collective effort."
a Ktunaxa Nation Member, has already seen the benefits in a very
short period, with many children having already graduated from the
eight session program. The curriculum covers topics such as body
parts, colours, animals, numbers, seasons and basic expressions.
Each session also includes a craft or activity that enhances the
learning by making it fun.
on the curriculum has been very positive and the sessions have been
very well received from both students and teachers. It has now been
successfully delivered in two early childhood centres, one in Kimberley
and one in Invermere, and can also be delivered on a one-to-one
basis by request.
curriculum was developed as part of the services provided by the
Paqmi Nuqyuk Aboriginal Early Years Program. Paqmi Nuqyuk itself
means to blossom or burst from the ground in the Ktunaxa language,
and was chosen to represent the potential of all children to blossom
into something special. The Paqmi Nuqyuk program offers a holistic
approach while providing support and services in education, health,
nutrition, as well as culture and language.
the curriculum developed was originally intended for youth, it has
also been proven to be beneficial to learners of any age, with some
beginning adults also starting to use it.
have had many interested parents following along with their child,
which makes a better learning environment for everybody," continued
Nicholas. "It shows you that it is never too late to start
more information on having the Ktunaxa for Tots program delivered
or the Paq?mi Nuq?yuk Aboriginal Early Years Program, please contact
Chelsea Nicholas or Charlene Sperling 250-489-4563.