Hul’q’umi’num’ / Halq'eméylem / hən̓q̓əmin̓əm

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Language Family: Coast Salish

Dialects: Hul’q’umi’num’, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, Halq'eméylem

Language known as: Hul’q’umi’num’, Halq'eméylem, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ , Halkomelem

"Halkomelem" is the name that linguists have called a group of related dialects spoken from around Parksville to Saanich Inlet on Vancouver Island and on the mainland from the mouth of the Fraser eastward to Harrison Lake and the lower end of the Fraser Canyon. The name "Halkomelem" is a blending of the names of the three dialects: Hul’q’umi’num’, Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, and Halq'eméylem. Hul’q’umi’num’ is spoken primarily by First Nations on Vancouver Island, Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ is spoken by peoples between the mouth of the Fraser River and the Stave River and Halq’eméylem is spoken by First Nations from the Stave River up to the lower Fraser Canyon.1

State of the Language

First Nation Population Fluent Speakers Understand or Speak Somewhat Learning Speakers
Aitchelitz First Nation 241000
BOḰEĆEN (Pauquachin)33674 8810
Chawathil First Nation554001019
Cheam First Nation548351121
Chehalis Indian Band610033632
Chemainus First Nation7121516247199
Cowichan Tribes847411502801000
Halalt First Nation9212444
Katzie First Nation1053051025
Kwantlen First Nation1124631048
Kwaw-kwaw-apilt First Nation414unknownunknownunknown
Kwikwetlem First Nation1272000
Lake Cowichan First Nation1329000
Leq'á:mel First Nation2384020
Lyackson First Nation142046205
MÁLEXEȽ (Malahat)15330450
Matsqui First Nation22620510
Penelakut Tribe169503021163
Peters Band1762000
Popkum First Nation210000
Qayqayt First Nation94unknownunknownunknown
Qualicum First Nation1064unknownunknownunknown
Scia'new (Beecher Bay)1822312211
Scowlitz First Nation19250200
Seabird Island Indian Band2011533150250
Shxw'owhamel First Nation2118559020
Skawahlook First Nation285000
Skowkale First Nation22460720
Skwah First Nation2247942023
Skway First Nation23391089
Snaw-Naw-As First Nation 242656810
Snuneymuxw First Nation25unknownunknownunknownunknown
Soowahlie Indian Band263652533
Squiala First Nation2189000
Sumas First Nation27242unknownunknownunknown
Tsawwassen First Nation284510560
Tsleil-Waututh Nation295080559
Tzeachten First Nation24760114
Union Bar Band1184unknownunknownunknown
xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam)3013150277
Yakweakwioose Band3163000
Yale First Nation1504unknownunknownunknown



This dialect has been called: Halkomelem

Hulq'umín'um' is closely related to Halq'eméylem and Hǝn'q'ǝmin'ǝm'. Some linguists consider these three dialects of the same language which they call "Halkomelem". The Hulq'umín'um' language is spoken by spoken by six separate but closely related First Nations in the southern Georgia Strait area: the Chemainus, Cowichan, Halalt, Lake Cowichan, Lyackson, and Penelakut.


This dialect has been called: Downriver Halkomelem, Hənqəminəm

Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm is spoken in the Lower Mainland in the Fraser River delta and up the Fraser River to Fort Langley.

The Musqueam have about 7 semi-fluent speakers. There are about 60 students have completed the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ classes in the First Nations Languages program at the University of British Columbia.32


This dialect has been called: Upriver Halkomelem

Halq'eméylem is spoken by the Sto:lo First Nations and some of their close neighbours in the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon.

Footnotes / References
1. Suttles, Wayne, ed. (1990). Central Coast Salish.
2. Language Data from Sto:lo Shxweli Halq'emeylem Language program (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3192
3. Language Data from Pauquachin First Nation (2007), Language Needs Assessment #711
4. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (2008). First Nation Registered Population.
5. Language Data from Coqualeetza Cultural Education Centre (2013), Language Needs Assessment #2186
6. Language Data from Sts'ailes Community School, Sts'ailes Indian Band (2012), Language Needs Assessment #2172
7. Language Data from Stz'uminus First Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3203
8. Language Data from Coast Salish Employment & Training Society (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3277
9. Language Data from Halalt First Nation (2013), Language Needs Assessment #2951
10. Language Data from Aboriginal HIPPY Canada (2012), Language Needs Assessment #2904
11. Language Data from Kwantlen First Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3324
12. Language Data from Kwikwetlem First Nation (2012), Language Needs Assessment #2724
13. Language Data from Lake Cowichan First Nation (2013), Language Needs Assessment #2793
14. Language Data from Lyackson First Nation (2013), Language Needs Assessment #2940
15. Language Data from Malahat Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3372
16. Language Data from Penelakut Tribe (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3163
17. Language Data from Peters Band Office (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3322
18. Language Data from Beecher Bay First Nations (2007), Language Needs Assessment #679
19. Language Data from Scowlitz (2012), Language Needs Assessment #2712
20. Language Data from Seabird Island Band (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3404
21. Language Data from Shxwowhamel First Nation (2009), Language Needs Assessment #1383
22. Language Data from chilliwack landing preschool and kindergarten at skwah first nation #4 (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3287
23. Language Data from Shxwha:y Village (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3123
24. Language Data from Snaw-naw-as Health Centre (2013), Language Needs Assessment #2900
25. Language Data from Snuneymuxw First Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3213
26. Language Data from Soowahlie First Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3228
27. Language Data from Sto:lo Nation (2007), Language Needs Assessment #618
28. Language Data from Tsawwassen First Nation (2013), Language Needs Assessment #3080
29. Language Data from Tsleil-Waututh Nation (2014), Language Needs Assessment #2873
30. Language Data from Musqueam Indian Band (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3186
31. Language Data from Yakweakwioose Band (2014), Language Needs Assessment #3448
32. Muqueam website: