Dushuyay Research
2821 NW 63rd Street
Seattle, WA 98107


Dushuyay Research offers a diverse number of services. Use the navigation buttons below to see a description of our services in that particular area. Then, to learn even more, choose from among the SAMPLE PROJECTS that demonstrate our company’s abilities.






Language Planning – Curriculum Development – Research

During the last half of the 1970s, Dushuyay Research partner Nile Thompson headed the Twana Language Project for the Skokomish Indian Tribe. During the course of the project, he developed a practical alphabet, conducted fieldwork, developed curricula, taught classes, trained teachers and wrote a beginning dictionary. He also worked with Wa-He-Lute School of Frank’s Landing, WA in 1979, conducting research on the Nisqually and Steilacoom dialects of Puget Sound Salish, developing a practical alphabet and language curriculum, and training a language teacher.

This experience places Dr. Thompson in an elite group of linguistic pioneers in the region. In speaking of the entire Northwest Coast, Laurence C. Thompson and M. Dale Kinkade state that “[i]n all, [language] programs were begun in fewer than 15 communities during the 1970s and 1980s, nearly all on reserves in British Columbia.” Fewer still is the number of linguists who were working in and for the Indian community for four or more years.

This view over time gives Dr. Thompson the rare ability to steer programs away from common pitfalls and chart a course that will achieve success. That begins with establishing a primary community goal, objectives that will support that goal and doable activities necessary to successfully complete the objectives.

The following is a listing of sample projects Dr. Thompson has conducted. In addition to the three language families represented in those projects, he has also conducted research in the following families:
    Algonquian – Blackfoot
    Wakashan – Makah and Kwagulth
  • 2003-04
    • Language planning and curriculum development, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Auburn, WA.
  • 2002
    • Language planning and linguistic fieldwork, Skokomish Indian Tribe, Shelton, WA.
  • 2001-03
    • Language curriculum development, dictionary design and course instruction, Steilacoom Tribe of Indians, Steilacoom, WA.
  • 1998
    • Language planning and grant writing, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.
  • 1998
    • Language planning consultation, Bannock community of the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho.
  • 1996
    • Language planning and linguistic research, Squaxin Indian Tribe, Shelton, WA.
  • 1995-02
    • Language curriculum consultation, Skokomish Indian Tribe.
  • 1994
    • Linguistic research on 19th century Coast Salish personal and tribal names, Archives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.
  • 1989
    • Language planning consultation, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.
  • 1987
    • Language planning for Kootenai for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Montana.
  • 1985-89
    • Twana Language Project, Skokomish Indian Tribe.
    The following passage is from the introduction to Nile Thompson and C. Dale Sloat’s "Unlikely bedfellows: How worldview and pedagogy can hinder language preservation", Working Papers on Endangered and Less Familiar Languages 7 (2006): Studies in Salish, MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, pages 1-2.
      Our discussions will focus on prospective second language learners over the age of sixteen, i.e. those who generally can no longer readily pick up a language with the ease of a young child. Interested individuals in this age group can be an important part of a language reintroduction program because they are needed to reinforce at home what children learn at school. Additionally, if a program is successful in providing the beginnings of fluency to one group of small children, new language teachers and aides will be needed [as] successive groups of learners [are added].

      Discussions with several reservation language teachers us with anecdotal evidence that as many as sixty-percent of beginning adult language students drop out by the end of the first week. Our brief investigation has turned up two dissimilar, potential types of causes. The first type deals with worldview. Some students may retain vestiges of a traditional belief in reincarnation and concomitant belief in how human language is passed from one generation to the next. The second type involves four pedagogical practices (a linking of learning and Indian-ness, a portrayal of the difficulties students will have in pronouncing the language, the use of technical orthography, and teaching beginning students from typical lists) that seem to hinder rather than help in student learning.


    Company Histories – School Histories – Tribal Histories – Boarding School Histories

    Dushuyay Research can provide you with the research, text, photo selection and design concepts you need for your school, corporate, tribal or organizational history. For a book, you can choose between using our complete in-house service or selecting other design and printing companies to augment our services.


    • 1994
      • Skokomish and Steilacoom entries Native American in the Twentieth Century: An Encyclopedia. Client: Garland Publishing.
    Cultural Resources

    Dushuyay Research has experience in preparing cultural resource assessments and management plans, conducting cultural resource and language resource surveys, establishing curatorial and archival programs, and providing preservation register evaluations and submitting nominations.

    Ethnogeography is the study of how a particular people view the geography of their world. Linguistics is a powerful tool that can be used to help reconstruct the ethnogeography of the pre-contact world.

    [T]he landscape [is] vividly re-created in "Native Seattle's" superb "Atlas of Indigenous Seattle," which [Coll] Thrush and Nile Thompson reconstructed from several anthropological sources. One early ethnographer, Thomas Talbot Waterman, estimated that "On Puget Sound alone, there seem to have been in the neighborhood of ten thousand proper names" of places in the Native landscape and memory. As Thrush compiled maps of names and locations of Native Seattle places, Thompson, a linguist, worked on reconstructing the names as expressed in Whulshootseed [Southern Puget Sound Salish].

    As Thompson translated, the two often discovered the eerie descriptive power of the Indian names. Said Thrush, a University of British Columbia professor who grew up in Auburn: "I would say, 'Oh my God, that's exactly what the place looks like.' These names are the closest things we have to photographs" of Seattle before white settlement.
    -- Mary Ann Gwinn
    Native landscape: The rich layer of indigenous history under Seattle's skin
    Seattle Times, August 30, 2007

    From Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place: 

    Nile Thompson, a gifted linguist with an eye for detail (to say the least) has made an irreplaceable contribution through his work on the “Atlas of Indigenous Seattle” at the end of this book. I dread to think what might have ended up in print without his expertise in Salish linguistic structure and worldview, his working knowledge of Whulshootseed, and his attention to fine nuances of logic and evidence. Now I truly understand why linguistics is its own discipline, and why historians should keep to their own turf. (Coll Thrush) 

    From An Atlas of Indigenous Seattle, pages 214-15: 

    How a given community defines its landscape through place-names has long held a fascination for many anthropologists. The vocabulary used as such is viewed as a window for understanding how a given society defines its place in the world. Certainly, traditional names have more appeal than today’s urban nomenclature such as “the Seattle Center” or “Sixty-third Street.” 

    The place-names of the Puget Sound Salish peoples have a wide range of reference, from myth to human activity, from spirit power to animal species, and from natural resource to natural landmark. A site could be named in isolation or it could be contrasted with other like features. The place-names themselves can refer to broad expanses or to specific sand spits or rocks. Along the coastline, places are generally named from the perspective of looking toward the shore from Puget Sound. (Nile Thompson)

    Photographic Research

    Photographic Research services are available for authors, documentary film makers, website designers, exhibit designers and others seeking visual resources on a particular topic. We specialize in historical images and perform both internet and on-site research.

    Local (Seattle) Photograph Collections
    Museum of History and Industry Nordic Heritage Museum
    Seattle Public Library Seattle Public Schools Archives
    Swedish Finn Historical Society Wing Luke Asian Museum
    University of Washington Libraries

    Sample Photographic Research &/or Editing Clients
    Alaskan Geographic Ameritech
    Anderson Middleton Ballard Historical Society
    Collegiate Screen Saver Collection Greystone Communications
    Klondike Mining Co. Makah Cultural & Research Center
    PSF Industries PSF Mechanical
    Seattle School District University of Washington Press

    Museum Interpretation

    Exhibit Research & Design – Exhibit Catalogs & Brochures – Exhibit Reviews
    • 1987
      • Portrait in Time: Photographs of the Makah by Samuel G. Morse, 1896-1903. Client: Makah Cultural & Research Center.
    • 1986
      • Lost Perspectives: The Art and Culture of Western Washington Indians. Client: Washington State Historical Society.

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