Nooksack Places: History, Culture and Language

Don’t Miss This Important Talk on Place Names

The Nooksack River stólaw7 (the river) at the mouth of the South Fork Nuxw7íyem.

How were places named in the original Nooksack language?

On April 14, the story of Nooksack place names will be recounted in a slide presentation by Allan Richardson, Anthropologist and researcher of Nooksack Indian culture and history. Accurate pronunciations and additional dialog will be provided by George Adams, language specialist with the Nooksack Tribe and the only remaining fluent speaker of the Nooksack language.

A Passion for Nooksack Place Names and Culture

Allan Richardson received an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington, Seattle, and taught Anthropology at Whatcom Community College for 38 years.  He has published articles on Northwest Coast native culture and has served as consultant to the Nooksack Indian Tribe for a number of grants and legal cases.  Mr. Richardson is coauthor with Dr. Brent Galloway of the forthcoming book Nooksack Language.  He is also active in the Washington Native Plant Society, and lives on a small farm on the outskirts of Bellingham.

A Passion for Preserving Language and Tradition

1855 Map of Nooksack River Steven Gibbs

George Adams has lived most of his life in his Native Homeland, primarily in Whatcom County.  His oral tradition teachers were his grandparents and other elders from Nooksack, Lummi, Tulalip, Upper Skagit, Swinomish, Saanich, Cowichen, Chilliwack, Malahat, Musqueum, and Clallum tribes to name a few.  His formal education includes a BA in Education from WWU.  He taught in public schools, grades pre-k-12, and adults, before his career led him to work primarily with First Nations in education, teaching First Nations Languages and administration.  In his own words:  “Throughout my entire career, Native Language Revitalization has been ‘my heart’.

Today, Lhéchalosem (the Nooksack Language) is on its return ‘from the dead’ though our Lhéchalosem Teacher Training Language Immersion Project, through the help of ANA Grant and tribal funds– hopefully, this will be my finest (not ‘final’) accomplishment.  Yalh kwómalh ashóy (Thanks), Syélpxen (George Adams), Lhéchalosem Revitalization Director/Instructor.”

Join Us

April 14 at 7:00 (welcome), Rotunda Room, Whatcom Museum.


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