The Okanagan/Colville Language

Okanagan is spoken in the Okanagan region of southern British Columbia, to the east of the Fraser Valley and to the West of Kootenay. Under the name Colville, it is spoken in the United States in northern Washington. The hyphenated names Colville-Okanagan and Okanagan-Colville are therefore sometimes used to refer to the language as a whole.

The indigenous name is /nsilxcín/. The term Okanagan is an anglicization of /ukwnaqínx/, which designates all of the people living in the drainage of the Okanagan River. It is therefore a cover term for most but not all speakers of this language.

A dialect of this language known as Sinixt is spoken by the people known as Sinixt or Sin-alkst. A small number of Sinixt live in their traditional territory in the Slocan valley in the West Kootenai region of British Columbia. Most members of this group migrated some time ago to the United States; their descendants live on the Colville Reservation.

Okanagan/Colville is a Salishan language.