Secwepemc Language Proficiency Program

A Chief Atahm School and Simon Fraser University Partnership

About the Program

Chief Atahm School (A full immersion school located in Chase, BC) has partnered with SFU to offer an intensive adult Secwepemc language fluency certificate and diploma program to be delivered on the Adams Lake Band reserve in Chase, BC. The program builds on the language expertise of Chief Atahm School and the traditional knowledge of Secwepemc Elders. 

Update: Students are currently in their second year/diploma portion of the program after graduating with a Certificate in Secwepemctsín Proficiency

What our program offers

The program includes intensive, accelerated language learning techniques. Each student will have access to tutoring by fluent elders and technological support through our language learning apps. Learn to converse and teach in the language. Our program focuses on more than just language, we also deliver traditional teachings about the land, culture, place names and storytelling. Students are welcome to utilize our Secwepemctsín library of resources. After completion, students will be able to use this knowledge for both personal use and documentation in the Secwepemctsín. 

Daily Intensive Teaching

Students will be surrounded with language rich exercises in order to learn a language quickly and effectively. Over the last two decades, Chief Atahm School has developed a great variety of teaching materials. We offer the most comprehensive language resources and teaching methods within Secwepemcu̓lecw. Our curriculum follows an accelerated sequence, beginning with frequently used vocabulary building to storytelling and cultural teachings.

Image: Language Instructor, Dr Kathryn Michel, and Elder/teacher, Anne Michel, in class

Cultural Teachings

Language is what connects us to the land and the rich culture of the Secwepemc people. Through storytelling and resource gathering, students will develop a stronger connection to themselves, the language and the land. Our vast collection of recordings and text will also help extend the students language experiences.


1. Honouring the Salmon at Adams Lake

2. Q̓elstem - Pit Cooking

3. Class Hike in Ciyúy7elt

Online Technology

Language Games

Through a partnership with the Hellenic Department at Simon Fraser University we have developed a state-of-art online classroom for students to learn and practise Secwepemctsín. 

Students will also have learning support through language learning recordings, e-books, online games and apps created in-house by our Chief Atahm School curriculum and by Eyesparks (Game developer).

Images: Chief Atahm Games