Victoria McCoy


Ggoadm ′Teebn, dee waayu.
Ganhada dee hokshgu.
Halimoack, waan a dee noayu.
Gisshashgan dee will dsoacku.

In my traditional language of Shm′algyack, I stated my traditional Tsimshian name, clan, my mother’s Tsimshian name and where I currently live. My great-grandmother Lizzy Eaton from the Gitlan tribe (people of two passing canoes), house of the gganaow (frog), gganhaada (raven clan).

Ama sha,

I am a Language Pathways scholar of Sealaska Heritage Institute. Previously I worked as a language apprentice at Ketchikan Indian Community and taught Beginning Shmˈalgyack at Ketchikan High School. I am a scholar for the Tsimshian language. Currently in Alaska the Shm’algyack language has less than a handful of speakers. We only have a few remaining first language Elders, who can pass down the knowledge to us. Our time listening and learning our languages is critical, so we too can pass our languages down to future generations. If we wait to learn our languages we may run out of time.