Janet Yoder presents Where the Language Lives: Vi Hilbert and the Gift of Lushootseed at the Nooksack Community Building

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Nooksack Community Building Mí sq’ eq’ ó
2515 Sulwhanon Dr, Everson

Join us at Mí sq’ eq’ ó, the Nooksack Tribal Community Building for a special appearance by Janet Yoder where she will present her book, Where the Language Lives: Vi Hilbert and the Gift of Lushootseed. Nominated for the 2022 Washington State Book Award for Creative Nonfiction/Memoir, Where the Language Lives draws from interviews conducted over Janet’s thirty-year friendship with Skagit tribal elder Hilbert to pay tribute to the woman whose determination and passion helped breathe life into her language and culture.
In 1978, Janet Yoder took a Lushootseed class at the University of Washington with Vi Hilbert. She was expecting to learn a little about this local indigenous language, but what followed was a lifelong journey with Vi, who endeavored to preserve a language on the brink of disappearance and to teach those around her how to live in the place where the language lives.

The preservation of the Lushootseed language is a bright spot on the map of endangered indigenous languages and is significantly attributable to the efforts of Upper Skagit elder Vi Hilbert. 

“Heartfelt and honest, Yoder vividly portrays the remarkable life of this astounding woman with style and determination.”
–Jay Miller, author of Lushootseed Culture and the Shamanic Odyssey: An Anchored Radiance

Janet Yoder’s work has been published in literary journals, including the Baltimore Review, Chautauqua, River Teeth, and the American Literary Review. She lives with her husband on a floating home in Seattle, Washington.