“We are the medicine for one another.”

Elder Gerry Oleman

Aaron Williams

Associate

ELDER ENDORSED SQUAMISH LANGUAGE TEACHER

Aaron Williams, Is a Direct Decendent to the Villiges of the Ch’iyáḵmesh (Cheekeye) and Yeḵw’ápsem (North Yards) And was raised In the Village of Slha7án̓ of the Sḵwx̱wu7meshúlh (Squamish People), who has dedicated 6 out of the last 14 years to travelling throughout British Columbia’s Coast Salish Lands learning and training exclusively with Local and neighboring communities elder speakers, on how to be a speaker in our Long Houses and within our Community Cultural processes focussed on Namings, Marriages, Memorials, Funerals, and other Cultural related works. Aaron’s work is strongly focussed on Squamish Language and Squamish History. Aaron has been working in the revitalizational use of Squamish Language by Squamish People for the last 8 years in various roles in the multiple Squamish Nation Comminuties and as a Elder Endorsed Squamish language teacher in various circles within our Squamish Nation Communities providing language Immersion initiatives with children and youth and Adults. Aaron is responsible for carrying a gift of Squamish Language from his Late Grandmother, who raised him with the Squamish language at her home in Slha7án from 1984-to-1997. While during time she spoke in the Squamish language with Aaron in many different places like at her home and other elder’s houses and at the St’ Paul’s Church, helping to developing his core beliefs and thinking of them in Squamish language.  

Aaron, has many gifts one of them is thinking in Squamish Language which is a rarity in this day and age, also in his arsonal of tools is oral legand telling and the telling of family history orally, Aaron is also a Singer of Squamish traditional songs.

Aaron is currently undertaking a MD In Linguistics of Language and Arts at Simon Fraser University. Aaron’s research focus is on intersecting Language use in Squamish Communities and other close by Communities seeking out historical cognitions between close by Languages in the Salishan Langauge tree. Aaron also brings effective knowledge of a Squamish Centric view with traditions of cultural land based knowledge of Old Squamish Village sites, Place name sites and Land Marker sites, spanning within the traditional lands of the Squamish People. Aaron longs to change the status quo and effect the sustainable change in the frequency of Squamish Language use by Squamish people.

Aaron has spent countless hours training in 1-1 processes with his mentors concerning language and cultural reinsergents in social issues rooted in intergenerational trauma to help heal from colonization. Aaron holds a Squamish language and Cultural Diploma from Capilano U and a Provincial Instructors Diploma from Vancouver Community Collage and a Language Proficiency Diploma From Simon Freser University, Aaron is elder Endorsed by past Squamish Elders and Current Elders who believe in the work he does with the Squamish language and Squamish History. Aaron’s primary fucus is on carrying the message to the learner, who is actively seeking to learn, and the message is “we are never to late to start learning”  he specializes in teaching Squamish language to Adult learners, Aaron believes that learning to speak and converse in a language that one might belong to, brings historical healing to historical tramas. Aaron is a trained and Community Certified Culture and Spiritual and Public Speaker he is also a trained Singer of traditional Squamish Songs and other Coast Salish Songs and he has a deep rooted love for linguistics and is a up-and-coming linguist. 

Aaron has vast range of people who have helped him to be who he is in our community, the list is outside the scope of this bio, to be thankful to and he shows his gratitude by returning day in and day out, year after year helping and supporting families within our Coast Salish lands. All the best, Aaron Williams. 

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