Arlee woman works to preserve and teach the Salish language


Aspen Decker, a master’s student in linguistics at the University of Montana and Salish language teacher, is making it her goal to preserve the Salish language.

Aspen Decker began teaching her four children the Salish language when they were young.

Skylar Rispens

More than 200 Indigenous languages in the United States have gone extinct in the last 400 years, according to the Language Conservancy.

Aspen Decker, a University of Montana graduate student in linguistics from Arlee, wants to ensure the Salish language doesn’t experience a similar fate.

“I want to make sure that I’ve increased the amount of speakers in my community because my children and myself, you know, we’re not going to have very many language speakers to talk to,” Decker said.

“We’re going to need to

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