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Salish language classes offered near Omak

— Hearts Gathered will teach Salish language classes at 6 p.m. Tuesdays at the Waterfall School on the St. Mary’s Mission campus, 25 South end Omak Lake Road.

Classes are open to all community members.

“We really want the families of our students to take the classes, so that they can speak the language with their children,” Waterfall School teacher Michele Seymour said.

Waterfall School, in its fourth year, has 17 students preschool through second-grade. Each year, the school adds a higher grade level while also admitting new preschool students.

“Our overall objectives are to educate our students in every academic subject they need to learn while making them fluent speakers in our native language,” Hearts Gathered Executive Director Melissa Campobasso said. “We do this by speaking to them and instructing them” in Salish.

Nselxcin is spoken at the school. It an interior Salishan dialect spoken by Okanogan, Lakes, San Poil, Nespelem, Methow and Colville people.

Hearts Gathered started the school in 2010 with the vision of educating students by teaching them academic subjects in the native language, and revitalizing the language.

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