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Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Language Conservancy Announce New Resources to Empower Salish Language Revitalization Efforts

Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Language Conservancy Announce New Resources to 
Empower Salish Language Revitalization Efforts

Collaboration Includes Release of Captivating Children's Books and Enhanced Online Dictionary for Cowlitz Coast Salish Language Learners

Ridgefield, WA – The Cowlitz Indian Tribe and The Language Conservancy (TLC) are proud to announce the release of new and improved Cowlitz Coast Salish language learning materials for children and adults. These resources include two new captivating children's picture books titled Our Family Is Visiting Us (spatáyʼsmitawn tit sxamʼálaxʷ kɬ !) and Eating Together (ʔíɬaniɬt ʔacx̣ʷúqʷɬ) along with updates to the Cowlitz Coast Salish Online Dictionary, available for free online access and mobile download (links below).

Our Family Is Visiting Us (spatáyʼsmitawn tit sxamʼálaxʷ kɬ !) introduces Early Learners to words associated with the five senses through a heartwarming story of Grandma visiting her family. The book also includes vocabulary related to body parts. Eating Together (ʔíɬaniɬt ʔacx̣ʷúqʷɬ) teaches developing learners about subtraction and different foods through a tale about a raccoon family. 

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this series of language learning picture books aims to foster curiosity, engagement, and confidence in children. By exploring new subjects and experiencing stories that uphold values like respect, humility, fair play, kindness, and kinship, children are encouraged to learn while also developing a love for reading. Additionally, these books contribute to the development of math and reasoning skills, inspiring young minds for their future endeavors. 

The Cowlitz Coast Salish Online Dictionary has been updated to feature over 3,000 total entries and numerous sentence examples in the Cowlitz Coast Salish language. Updates include an improved search function, usage guide, and enhanced accessibility with dark/light mode options. Content and definitions have also been revised. 

“Providing resources that help members engage with our language is one of the most important ways to preserve Cowlitz Tribal history and culture,” said Cowlitz General Council Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. “We are deeply grateful for the partnership of the Language Conservancy in developing the Cowlitz Coast Salish Dictionary and vocab builder app, and we can’t wait to share these wonderful new children’s books with the next generation of Cowlitz leaders. When we provide the opportunity for tribal youth to learn our language, we carry forward our ancestors' teachings for generations to come.”

Today’s announcement adds to the long history of collaboration between the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and TLC, including:

•    Four children’s books –I saw a skunk! (ʔit ʔə́x̣n kn t smáynʼ!), What are they doing?( Sʔíniniɬt kʷu?), Our Family Is Visiting Us (spatáyʼsmitawn tit sxamʼálaxʷ kɬ !), and Eating Together (ʔíɬaniɬt ʔacx̣ʷúqʷɬ), with iOS and Android media players for activating audio storytelling
•    Cowlitz Coast Salish Dictionary online, Android mobile, and iOS mobile resources
•    Cowlitz Coast Salish Vocab builder app for iOS and Android

“It is a real honor to be a part of this transformative journey that Cowlitz Indian Tribe is making to revitalize their language,” said CEO of The Language Conservancy Wilhelm Meya. “Language serves as a vital cornerstone in celebrating and preserving cultural heritage, and it is truly historic to have the opportunity to support the reconstruction of the Cowlitz Coast Salish language. The Cowlitz people are extraordinary, and we feel privileged to be working hand in hand to empower the community and future generations of speakers."

For more information, please visit



Our Family is Visiting Us

Eating Together

About the Cowlitz Indian Tribe
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is a growing force in community building in the Pacific Northwest. The Cowlitz Reservation neighbors Ridgefield, Washington, and is home to ilani, the Pacific Northwest's premier gaming, dining, meeting, and entertainment destination. The mission of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is to preserve and honor the legacy of its elders and ancestors by empowering a tribal community that promotes social justice and economic well-being, secures aboriginal lands, respects culture and sovereignty, and fosters justice, freedom, and mutual welfare. More information can be found at

About The Language Conservancy  
The Language Conservancy is a nonprofit organization leading the way in Native American language revitalization. Over the past 20 years, TLC has worked with Indigenous communities around the world to create an unmatched body of language learning materials. Earlier this year, they introduced the 3rd Edition New Lakota Dictionary, the largest Native American Dictionary in the world, and a series of apps, largely geared to Native American youth, which instantly translate indigenous languages into English and vice versa. To date, TLC has published 319 materials in a wide range of formats and in 47 different Indigenous languages in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Reflecting the urgency of language revitalization, the organization has accelerated its effort. In 2023, TLC's Tribal Partners will publish 187 new language revitalization materials, including apps, dictionaries, books, and videos – the largest collection ever assembled in 12 months' time. For more information, visit TLC or call Rosica Communications at 201-843-5600.

Media Contacts:
Crystal Leigh,
Taylor Bickford,


The legacy of an ancient people in southwest Washington is rich with descendants who manage a growing portfolio of health, education, scientific research, housing, transportation, development, elder care, conservation and legal issues. The Cowlitz Tribe is a growing force in community building in what are now Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis and parts of Pierce, Skamania and Wahkiakum Counties, a vast territory occupied by numerous Cowlitz villages prior to non-Cowlitz exploration and seizure. Today, an elected Tribal Council is composed of professionals adept at managing multiple programs and projects.