The Yekooche (Carrier) language is an Athabascan language spoken by the Yekoochet’en (people of Yekooche), who have lived in the Stuart Lake area of British Columbia for thousands of years.
When European settlers arrived, the Yekoochet’en had their rights eroded as trappers, prospectors, and resource companies were given access to their traditional lands. According to First Voices, though,
“[t]oday, the Yekoochet’en are actively involved in protecting what remains of their land and have entered the treaty-making process as a means of preparing themselves for the future. Believing in their role as “stewards” of the land within their traditional territories they hope to fulfill a greater role in conservation and safeguarding of their culture and way of life while developing through working partnerships some of the economic opportunities which have been denied them in the past.”
These conservation efforts also extend to their language. According to the Yekooche First Nation website,
“One of our most important school programs is our cultural program which employs a Carrier language teacher offering formal instruction to each class on a daily basis. We are currently working on transitioning to a fully integrated Carrier School.”
We acknowledge that the land on which we work is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.