NEȾOLṈEW̱ – Our Guiding Principle

The name of our partnership translates as “one mind, one people” or “doing things as one” in the SENĆOŦEN language. HÍSW̱ḴE SIÁM to J,SIṈTEN (John Elliott) for offering this beautiful phrase to express the central principle of our partnership.

National Network

Built on strong Partner connections and networks across Canada, united in their goal of Indigenous language revitalization and maintenance, embracing the diversity of languages across distinctive Indigenous communities and cultures.

Capacity Building

Building capacity among Indigenous people maximizing the resources available to maintain, revitalize, and strengthen efforts towards the nation‐wide revitalization of the Indigenous languages.

Foundation of Hope

Sharing a vision of hope and empowerment of research and community practice, taking a stand to ensure the continuation of Indigenous languages in the lands claimed as Canada.

Project History

Indigenous communities across Canada are working hard, undertaking essential language revitalization and maintenance work. Increasingly, adults have been identified as a group of learners who hold great potential to contribute to the revival of Indigenous languages as parents, workers, community or family members, at times bridging gaps between Elder-speakers, children, and youth.

Year Founded


Founding Members

Drs. Onowa McIvor & Peter Jacobs

W̱SÁNEĆ School Board & First Peoples’ Cultural Council

Community Partners


Languages Represented


Project Themes

Adult learners hold great potential to contribute to the revival of Indigenous languages. Yet, we know that learning languages at any age does not happen in isolation, and so our Partnership uses an approach that engages with — and studies — the multiple contexts in which adult learners both learn and contribute. These study areas are organized into five research themes in our Project House below.

Select a theme to learn more.

NILLA (NEȾOLṈEW̱ Indigenous Language Learning Atlas)Theme 1

An online portal developed with participating Indigenous communities to learn from each other and combine efforts across Indigenous language revitalization and maintenance projects.

Learn more about NILLA.

AssessmentTheme 2

As more Indigenous people learn their languages, we believe context‐relevant assessment tools can support language learning progress. While continuing to develop the  NEȾOLṈEW̱ assessment tool several Partners are also exploring assessment within their community context.

Sites of Learning & TeachingTheme 3

A central goal for communities is advancing proficiency amongst language learners to create new speakers across generations. We aim to better understand the effectiveness and challenges of Indigenous language learning through various different programs and pedagogical models.

Sites of ContributionTheme 4

Adult Indigenous language learners are often called upon to pass on the language to others while continuing to learn their language themselves. Our research considers the places adult language learners contribute as teachers, parents and grandparents, as well as other kinship and community roles.

Language, Health & Well-BeingTheme 5

Together we aim to explore the ways involvement in language learning, speaking and teaching affects health.

House-shaped model of 5 project themes