UBC, Musqueam, Syilx co-develop font to typeset Salish languages


The University of British Columbia, the Musqueam Language and Culture Department, and the Syilx Okanagan Nation have collaboratively created a new font capable of typesetting Salish languages. The years-long project stemmed from UBC’s need to respectfully express hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the traditional language of the Musqueam peoples, in a written form in order to increase awareness of the land the institution is built on. First Nations Unicode can accurately represent words in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, but the font looks starkly different from Whitney, the university’s font. The final font, called Whitney Salishan, was developed through four years of extensive collaborative work and will be used on campus in language research and education, as well as by the Musqueam and Syilx peoples.

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