The “You Are My Sunshine” (ʔayʔaǰuθəm) Project

We’re so proud of this collaboration at last year’s festival.

Over 300 K-12 students and staff from School District 47 (Powell River) came together under the direction of SD47 music teacher (and TJF president) Paul Cummings and language warrior Koosen Pielle (jehjeh media). Together they arranged the popular song “You are my Sunshine” to be sung in both English and the Tla’amin First Nation language, ʔayʔajuθəm (Ayajuthem).

On the surface, it was a swingin’ jazz choir arrangement of “You Are My Sunshine.” But in reality, it was so much more than that. Our dear friend Koosen said it best in her Facebook post:

“This is an historic moment for ʔayʔaǰuθəm: a language that has less then 40 fluent speakers left. THIS is language revival! This helps us SEE the progress, HEAR how far we’ve come, and FEEL the gratitude for the work our ancestors did to fight for our language to survive.”

Watch the video documentary here: