As an assistant professor in the Department of Indian Languages and Literature at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College in Regina, Jan van Eijk released the first complete descriptive grammar of Lillooet, an indigenous language threatened with extinction. The work evolved from his Ph.D dissertation at the University of Amsterdam in 1985. In 1987 he also compiled a dictionary of the Lillooet language that is also known as St'at'imcets.

Having studied the Lillooet (Lil'wat) language for forty years, Jan van Eijk transcribed and translated narratives from Lillooet elders for These Are Our Legends (University of Regina Press 2015). Along with English translations, a glossary and grammar, he presents texts with transcriptions that can be used by linguists or Lillooet speakers. Illustrated by Marie Abraham, the First Nations' title is Nilh Izá Sptákwlhkalh. His indigenous co-authors from the Lilloet area are Bill Edwards, Rosie Joseph, Adelina Williams and Martina LaRochelle.


Eijk, Jan van. The Lillooet Language: Phonology, Morphology, Syntax (UBC Press, 1997).

These Are Our Legends / Nilh Izá Sptákwlhkalh (University of Regina Press 2015) $24.95 9780889773967

[BCBW 2015] "Anthropology" "First Nations"