Sm’algya̱x is integral to the culture and traditions of the Ts’msyen. Founder and operator of Sm’algya̱x Word, Brendan Eshom, is of the Gitga’at First Nation. Knowing how vital Sm’algya̱x is for his people, he has immersed himself in the language throughout grade school.
In September of 2019, when a Sm’algya̱x course could not be accommodated in his timetable, he sought to learn his language another way. With the approval of the Ts’msyen Language Authority and financial support from Wa̱p Sig̱atgyet, he launched the first version of his Sm’algya̱x “word of the day” website on November 14, 2019.
At the turn of the year, Michael Gurney heard of Brendan's website and offered to collaborate. As a result, in April of 2020 an augmented version of the site was launched.
Since improving Sm’algya̱x Word’s reach is widely beneficial, a generous grant from Gitga’at First Nation enabled the release of the app via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in July 2020.
Brendan’s pursuit of Sm’algya̱x has been enabled by several teachers, supporters and family members. He would like to thank Alex Campbell, Ben Spencer, Kelli Clifton, Missy Trimble and Donna McNeil-Clark for their guidance in learning Sm’algyax. He would also like to extend gratitude to Roberta Edzerza and Raegan Sawka for advocating for him. Finally, Brendan would like to recognize his great-grandmother, Helen Clifton, and grandmother, Patricia Sterritt, for their steadfast support and connection to his own culture.
Brendan wants to inspire others to learn Sm’algya̱x by making language resources accessible to Ts’msyen and other audiences.