Ey Kw’as emi (The Welcome Project)
Christine Seymour – I am from the Tselxwéyeqw (Chilliwack) tribe and I have grown up in the Sq’ewqéyl First Nation community. My traditional name is Selīsiye, my grandmother gave me this name. In my community, both a middle school and a mountain have this name – Mt. Slesse Middle School and Mt. Slesse Mountain. Since I began teaching my language, Halq’eméylem in both Abbotsford and Chilliwack, it has been my goal to revitalize my language throughout my territory. It is my hope that one day Mt. Slesse Middle School will use the name it is named after – Mt. Selíse in Halq’eméylem.
Darlene MacDonald is the District Principal of Indigenous Education in School District 34, Abbotsford. I have had the opportunity to work with Darlene since 2013, in the Abbotsford school district. She was also my teacher in my PDP program at SFU. Darlene is not Indigenous, however, her work has impacted all students and staff widely throughout the district and within the surrounding First Nation communities. I am honoured to continue to work with her, for all the change she brought forward in her work, she is a leader of Indigenous education.
Ey Kw’as emi “Good that you came” (The Welcome Project) is intended to provide knowledge on the history of Indigenous People in Canada as well as an understanding of the impact of that history on our Indigenous students, their families, and our staff. We recognize the important role that staff in our schools have in cultivating positive relationships with students and families and we thank you for being part of our efforts toward collective responsibility to provide a culturally safe environment for our students, their families, and our Indigenous staff.