The coolest part of the Olympics opening ceremonies for me was seeing members of four west coast First Nations saying a welcome in their respective languages. The nations and languages were the Squamish Nation (Squamish or Sḵwx̱wú7mesh), Musqueam Indian Band (Hun'qumi'num' or Downriver dialect of Halkomelem), Lil'wat First Nation (Lillooet or St'at'imcets), and Tsleil-Waututh First Nation (Downriver dialect of Halkomelem). This map shows where these languages are spoken. These are all Salishan languages, related to Nuxálk, the language that freaked out Mattitiahu, because of its profusion of consonants and the difficulty of syllabifying them.
Linguistically, these are very interesting languages. Halkomelem and St'at'imcets have glottalised sonorants, which are extremely rare sounds, and St'at'imcets has glottalised voiced pharyngeals. How cool is that?
St'at'imcets uses reduplication for various purposes, for instance kl'axʷ "muskrat", and kə-kl'axʷ "muskrats"; and qʷal'út "to talk", and qʷə-qʷal'út "to talk loudly, to bawl out".
Halkomelem has a suffix to express an action done accidentally or with limited control, as opposed to an action done on purpose. For instance, the sentence "The child accidentally clubbed the woman with the paddle" contains the limited control suffix, and the sentence "The child clubbed the woman with the paddle (on purpose)" contains the general transitive suffix; otherwise the sentences are identical. (I don't know why linguistic examples are always so violent.)
Here are some lessons in Halkomelem, including sound files and grammar points. I like the word stl'itl'qulh [stɬʼitɬʼqəɬ] "child", which I might be able to say after a few years of practice.
Here are some useful phrases. The phonetic transcriptions are mine, so they're probably wrong. (Wikipedia was helpful, altho they use the wrong symbol for glottalisation.)
'li ch 'o' 'uy' 'ul'?
How are you?
'I tsun. 'li ch tl'o' 'uy' 'ul'?
I'm fine. And how are you?
Huy ch q'u.