LaRae Wiley is Sn̓ʕay̓čkstx (Arrow Lakes Band) and a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes. She is the Executive Director and founder of Salish School of Spokane. LaRae earned her BA from Eastern Washington University in 1990 and is a Washington State certified teacher. She has previously worked as an instructor for Colville Tribal Head Start, Spokane Tribal Head Start, Chewelah School District, Spokane Tribal College, Spokane Falls Community College, and Eastern Washington University. Since 2003, LaRae has been learning N̓səl̓xčín̓ (Colville-Okanagan Salish) as an apprentice to the late, master speaker Sʕam̓tíc̓aʔ (Sarah) Peterson of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. The Colville language is highly endangered and has a handful of fluent speakers left in the United States. LaRae’s passion for learning and teaching her Native language and culture culminated in the foundation of Salish School of Spokane (SSOS) in 2009. SSOS is a non-profit organization that operates an immersion childcare/preschool center, a Private Salish immersion elementary school, a Native Youth Empowerment Program for secondary students, and a Salish language training program for staff, Parents and community members. Salish school of Spokane is working to preserve language and culture for future generations.
Creating Connections Between Land Owners and Native Youth