Project

Saanich (str-saa) Texts and Grammar

Division of Preservation and Access

Black and white photo of two Saanich people with George Heye

Saanich is a severely endangered native North American language of the Salishan language family, one that is now spoken as a first language by only a few elders living on southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  During recent work on a dictionary, Timothy Montler acquired a set of recordings from the early 1970s of a well-known elder storyteller relating traditional tales, legends, community history, personal history, information about place names, descriptions of hunting and fishing techniques, and some short conversations, all in Saanich. The project will produce a set of completely analyzed texts from the recordings, forming the basis of a Saanich reference grammar.