First Nations and Endangered Languages

The First Nations and Endangered Languages Program (FNEL) is part of UBC’s commitment to community-based collaboration with First Nations and other Indigenous peoples, in recognition of the vital importance of their languages and of the cultural traditions they represent. British Columbia has an extraordinarily rich linguistic heritage, being the ancestral home of more than half of the Aboriginal languages of Canada. The reality is that all of the 34 surviving First Nations languages of BC are critically endangered. The loss of any one of these languages, which have flourished for millennia being passed from generation to generation as rich and vibrant oral traditions, constitutes an irreplaceable loss of a living expression of intellect, of specific cultural understanding, of a vital link to the past, and potential keys to our collective well-being, health and sustainability.

Program Information

FNEL offers courses in First Nations languages, as well as methodology classes on language documentation, conservation and revitalization. In partnership and collaboration with First Nations and Indigenous communities and their cultural institutions, staff, scholars and students in our program conduct research with speakers of endangered languages and help to develop educational materials in British Columbia and beyond.

Please note: The Major and Minor in First Nations and Endangered Languages are pending approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education. Until this approval process is complete, these specializations cannot be declared. If you are interested, we strongly encourage you to pursue FNEL courses and to contact the FNEL Program Office for advice and assistance in shaping your program of study.


Tel: (604) 822-2512

In Person:

We are generally available:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Buchanan E-256
1866 Main Mall
University of British Columbia

By Mail:

University of British Columbia
First Nations and Endangered Languages Program
1866 Main Mall
Buchanan A240
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 1Z1