Layla (chuutsqa) Rorick – Hesquiaht First Nation
Education | University of Victoria
New Relationship Trust Foundation Doctorate Award Recipient
I have dedicated the last seven years to creating and maintaining free, community-based initiatives. I completed a three-year Mentor-Apprentice language immersion program, co- authored free dictionaries with Lawrence Paul and Angela Galligos and went on to start a grassroots Language Nest immersion program with Elders Julia Lucas and Maggie Ignace. Through these efforts, with the help of fluent speakers, I have progressed from being a non-speaker who grew up on Hesquiaht Indian Reserve, to being a high-intermediate speaker, teaching classes. My doctoral work aims to improve proficiency within my family/ community by engaging fluent speakers in language immersion planning and implementation.
“The loss of our language would mean the loss of an immense amount of ancient knowledge that we want in our lives as Nuu- chah-nulth people, and it is this thought that drives me. With your support through this program, I am able to continue volunteering to both facilitate free community language classes and do my doctoral language research with fluent elders. ʔuušč̓akšiƛʔicuuš.”