The Salish language family is a group of related languages spoken by the Pacific Northwest Coast Indigenous peoples, including British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The Salish language family consists of over thirty distinct languages, most of which are now considered endangered or critically endangered. The languages are divided into two main branches: Coast Salish and Interior Salish.
The Coast Salish languages are spoken by the Coast Salish people, who live in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. The languages are further divided into two groups: Northern and Southern. The Northern Coast Salish languages include Halkomelem, Squamish, and Comox, while the Southern Coast Salish languages include Saanich, Lummi, and Nooksack.
The Interior Salish languages are spoken by the Interior Salish peoples, who live in British Columbia and Idaho. The languages are further divided into two groups: Northern and Southern. The Northern Interior Salish languages include Okanagan and Secwepemc, while the Southern Interior Salish languages include Shuswap and Flathead.
The Salish languages have been in contact with many other language families. The most prominent of these is the Chinookan family, spoken in Oregon and Washington. Other related languages include the Straits Salish languages, spoken in British Columbia and Washington, and the Wakashan languages, spoken in British Columbia and Washington.
The Salish languages are an essential part of the heritage of the Pacific Northwest Coast. They are also a reminder of the long history of the Indigenous peoples of the region and their unique culture. As such, many efforts have been made to preserve and revitalize the Salish languages, including teaching programs and the creation of language-learning materials.