Our traditions and our language are what make the Kalispel people who we are today. The language ties us to the land, our relations, and our past.

CUSICK ELEMENTARY (GRADES 1-5)

This coming school year the Cusick Elementary kids will receive approximately 2 hours of language instruction per week. This will be the sixth year of our Elementary Immersion Language program at the Cusick School. We are very excited for the upcoming year and look forward to another successful partnership with the Cusick School. If you would like your child to attend the elementary class, you must sign them up. Because this class is outside of the regular scheduling, parent approval is required. Vickie Leach and Christina Butler are the lead instructors for the Elementary Language Classes.

CUSICK JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL

This upcoming school year we are teaching Kalispel I and Kalispel Stories I curriculum to the JH/HS students at Cusick. All JH/HS students receive 5 hours of language instruction per week. Vickie Leach and Tina Butler are the lead teachers. This year we will also be having our Kalispel Ambassadors Program. This is where we travel to the local HS’s and perform our traditional stories in the language. This is our way of showing other schools that “you can learn your language and it is a lot of fun”. The kids enjoy it and so do the teachers.

DAYTIME ADULT CLASS

In October, we will be starting our daytime adult class at the language office in Cusick. This class is designed for community members and employees who have prior approval from their supervisors. It will meet Monday-Thursday from 8-9 am. If you are interested in taking the class please contact JR Bluff or Jessie Isadore. If you work for the Kalispel Tribe, you will need approval from your immediate supervisor. This class will meet for about 9 months and will cover our Kalispel I and Kalispel Stories 1. Vickie Leach and Tina Butler will be the Instructors.

KALISPEL LANGUAGE IMMERSION SCHOOL (Snyoyoʔspuʔúsm)

The K-3 Immersion School is in full swing. The school opened August 31. We currently have 22 kids registered in the school. These students receive 4 1/2  hrs of Immersion Instruction in Science, Math, and Reading. Todd Ellingburg, Jessie Isadore, Nalene Andrews, Felisha Pichette, and Alisha Athos are the instructors. We are all very excited about the Immersion School and the opportunity to teach our children language. Please feel free to stop by and check them out.

KALISPEL LANGUAGE INTENSIVE

We plan on starting our fourth Kalispel Language Intensive at the Language Office located on the Kalispel rez. Currently, we have six students committed to take the class. Over the course of 2 years, these students will learn all 6 levels of the Kalispel Language Curriculum. Their daily schedule will entail 5 hrs of language instruction, 1 hr of Immersion Sessions from our Elders, and several hrs of homework. JR Bluff and Jessie Isadore will be teaching the class.

Language Books

Beginning Kalispel I Curriculum

Listed below are the first 45 lessons from our Kalispel I curriculum. These lessons were recently updated 10-17. Please click on the links below to access the specific lessons for the Kalispel I lessons. If you want to use the SalishTutor to learn the words you can click here and you will be re-directed to the language software page.

Kalispel Song Books

Below are PDFs for our Beginning Kalispel Songbook and our Christmas Songbook. The Beginning Songbook is taught in conjunction with the Kalispel I curriculum. The Christmas Songbook is something we put together to get everyone in the Christmas Spirit. Enjoy!  Please download Adobe Reader to view and print the lessons.

Listening Programs

Kalispel I Listening Program

Listed on this page is the Kalispel Listening program designed for the Kalispel I Curriculum. This program is designed to help the new language learner to comprehend and learn the Kalispel I materials.

Once you have the listening program document printed out, simply click on the mp3 audio link to hear the lesson activity. Good luck.

Listening Program Documents:
MP3 Audio Files for Listening Program

Kalispel Workbooks

Kalispel Story I Student Workbooks

Here are the Student Workbooks for the 15 stories in the Kalispel Story I Curriculum. These were recently updated 10/17. We do our best to update these every year.

If you want to use the StoryTeller program to help learn the stories click here and you will be re-directed to the language software page. Good Luck.

Our Language Staff

JR Bluff

Language Director

(509) 447-7294

Jessie Isadore

Language Coordinator

(509) 447-7286

Stan Bluff

Salish Language Advisor

(509) 447-7203

Johnny Arlee

Salish Language Advisor

(509) 447-7280

Vickie Leach

Language Teacher I

(509) 447-7461

Christina Butler

Language Teacher I

(509) 447-7461

Nalene Andrews

Immersion School Teacher

(509) 447-7463

Todd Ellingburg

Immersion School Administrator

(509) 447-7461

Alisha Athos

Immersion School Teacher

(509) 671-6842

Paul Renaud

Immersion School Teacher

(509) 447-7172

Kalispel Language Survival School (ANA Grant)

The Kalispel Tribe was fortunate enough to receive an Esther Martinez Initiative Language Grant in 2018. This grant is designed to expand the current K-2 Kalispel Language Immersion School (Snyoyoʔspuʔúsm) to include grades 3-5. This 3-year grant entails creating grade 3-5 curriculum for math, science, and literacy; and training 3 new teachers to speak the Kalispel language so they can teach in the classroom. Project personnel are Melinda McCormick (Curriculum Expert), Lisa Hoisington (Certified Elementary Teacher), and Dave Browneagle jr. (Associate Teacher).

Dave BrownEagle

Associate Teacher

(509) 447-7461

Melinda McCormick

Curriculum Expert

Lisa Hoisington

Certified Elementary Teacher