Coal Tyee Elementary School has a new name.
Yesterday, students, faculty, and some parents gathered in the school’s gymnasium for a naming ceremony.
The new name, syuw̓én̓ct, is pronounced ‘SEE-YOU-WHEN-ST’ and means ‘our tradition’ in hul’q’umi’num.
“By the work we have been able to do over the last two years,” said Principal Diane Charles, “understanding where our original name came from, and why moving forward in an act of truth and reconciliation, that our name could be changed and we could be gifted a name from the [Snuneymuxw] Nation is a pure testament to honoring the mental, physical, and spiritual connection through language, culture, and the land.”
The new name was approved by the school board in early July.
“All the time and work in regards to looking at the history of the original name, working with Snuneymuxw to come up with a gifted name to the school, is absolutely amazing,” said Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools, Jacquie Poulin, addressing the audience. “You have shown other schools have started to lead the path, and some other work to be done. A huge thank you to you on behalf of the district, to every one of you here, because every one of you played a part.”
Multiple pieces of indigenous art has also been installed at the school, including a large bentwood box at the entrance.
Full video of the ceremony is available below.