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.  

At the beginning of the millennium, with only a handful of Tribal elders who could speak fluent Salish, we were in danger of losing our native language.  In response, we have developed the Kalispel Language Program in an effort to reclaim and preserve our Salish Language, as well as create a new generation of native language speakers.  Over the last several years, we have continued to strengthen and expand the program, and we are beginning to see our efforts pay off.  Before, Salish was only spoken at cultural events, such as funerals, wakes, memorials, and gatherings, and it was only spoken by our elders.  Now, you can hear it everywhere throughout the community.  Through our Language efforts, a new generation of Salish speakers has given life to a part of our culture that was once in danger of extinction. We are doing our best to speak our language and teach everyday.

Thoughout this path, we have made many friends and partners to help us along the way. We have created a 6-level language acquisition path that is designed to take a person from "no-salish" to "pretty darn good" in 18 months. We have also developed many learning tools and Apps to supplement the classroom instruction. Please visit the curriculum and the language software page to see what we have.

To learn more about our language revitalization efforts, watch the short video below.

Northwest Profiles: Saving Salish - Language Revival

Our Staff

Name Title Email Phone
JR Bluff Language Director jrbluff@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7294
Jessie Isadore Language Coordinator jisadore@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7286
Stan Bluff Salish Language Advisor sbluff@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7203
Johnny Arlee Salish Language Advisor jarlee@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7280
Vickie Leach Language Teacher I vleach@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-1125
Christina Butler Language Teacher I cbutler@kalispeltribe.com 509-445-1125
Nalene Andrews Immersion School Teacher nandrews@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7463
509-447-7121
David Bluff Language Preservation Specialist dbluff@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7445
Barry Moses Curriculum Developer bmoses@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7134
Todd Ellingburg Immersion School Lead Teacher tellingburg@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7461
Felicia Pichette Immersion School Teacher fpichette@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-7460
Alisha Athos Immersion School Teacher Apprentice aathos@kalispeltribe.com 509-447-