lhalhukw’ siiye’yu: An introduction to birds in the Hul’q’umi’num’ world

Claudia Sylvester

About me
I am from Xwul’qw’selu. My grandparents are the late Wilfred and Sara Sylvester. My parents are Darlene Sylvester Sunatiye’ and Arvid Charlie Luschiim. I am a Hul’q’umi’num’ teacher for Cowichan Valley School District 79, and completed my MA in the SFU language program.

My project
We Hul’q’umi’num’ people have a special connection with the birds in our territory. Because of this, the Hul’q’umi’num’ language teachers in our graduate cohort selected one birds as a special project, working together with photographer Cim MacDonald. Each of us took one of her pictures, researched that bird in the scientific literature and with our Elders, and then worked with our language specialists to lay down a story in Hul’q’umi’num’. Our research resulted in a museum exhibit and a website. I report here about some of the interesting features of birds and the vocabulary you would use to describe them. This will be a resource for teachers and learners of the Hul’q’umi’num’ language and culture.

Keywords: Hul’q’umi’num’ language; Coast Salish cultural teachings; birds; stories