Aspen Decker

Aspen preparing camas

I am an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (T̓at̓ayáqn, Ql̓isp̓é & Sqlsé) and a speaker of my tribal language, Nsélišcn ‘Salish language’. I graduated with a master’s degree in linguistics from the University of Montana in 2021.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in Tribal Historic Preservation from Salish Kootenai College in 2018. I have a Montana Class 7 Native American Language and Culture Educator License and have been teaching Salish for 10 years.

My passion for Salish language began when I was 13 years old, learning from her elder Patlik Pierre. He taught me about the importance of perpetuating Salish language and culture. Raising my children in the language as first language speakers has been one of the ways that I honor his teachings.