Researching, Planning, and the Implementation of Tāłtān Language Nests: Sharing our Experiences


  • Edōsdi / Judy Thompson University of Northern British Columbia
  • Gileh / Odelia Dennis University of Victoria
  • Shāwekāw / Patricia Louie University of Victoria



Since 2012, our nation has been working to revitalize and reclaim our language, with an emphasis on the creation of new speakers. Tahltan Elders have spoken about the importance of our young children learning our language, so a focus has been on teaching babies and toddlers in language nests. A language nest is a home-like environment for infants to learn the language in an immersion setting and provides opportunities for all generations to be part of the revitalization of a language. One of the authors carried out research that focused on Tahltan community experiences of language revitalization. The investigation focused on language revitalization’s connection to health and healing and what needs to be done to revitalize our language. Following recommendations from that research, language nests have been one of the vital components our Language and Culture Program has focused on. The ways in which community members in Tahltan communities have planned and implemented language nests will be discussed, along withe sharing experiences and activities that are currently being carried out.

Author Biographies

Edōsdi / Judy Thompson, University of Northern British Columbia

Edōsdi / Judy Thompson is a member of the Tahltan Nation and is the Director of the Tahltan Language and Culture Program, and an Assistant Professor in First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Gileh / Odelia Dennis, University of Victoria

Gileh / Odelia Dennis is a member of the Tahltan Nation and is the Language and Culture Coordinator for Tātl’ah, as well as the Community Language and Culture Manager. Odelia has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Conservation at the University of British Columbia, as well as two years of the Native Indian Teacher Education Program. She is currently completing a Master of Arts in the University of Victoria’s Master’s in Indigenous Language Revitalization Program.

Shāwekāw / Patricia Louie, University of Victoria

Shāwekāw / Patricia Louie is a member of the Tahltan Nation and is the Language and Culture Coordinator for Łuwechōn. Patricia’s academic and professional credentials include early childhood education training from Northwest Community College and a Certificate in First Nations Language Proficiency from Simon Fraser University. She is currently completing the University of Victoria’s Diploma in Indigenous Language Revitalization.






Postcolonial Responses