Snuneymuxw First Nation Coun. Paul Wyse-Seward, left, and Harvey Seymour from the Stz’uminus First Nation at a groundbreaking ceremony for Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh Community School on Tuesday, March 13. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

VIDEO: Snuneymuxw First Nation breaks ground on new school site

New Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School site at Stuywut Street will teach Hul’qumi’num

Children in Nanaimo will be able to learn about Snuneymuxw culture as the First Nation proceeds with the building of a new school.

Snuneymuxw members held a groundbreaking ceremony at the new Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School site Tuesday at Stuywut Street in Cedar. The current school at Centre Street is 20 years old and the quarters are getting cramped.

Roxanne Harris, school principal, said the curriculum will follow B.C. Ministry of Education guidelines, but students will also learn the Hul’qumi’num language.

RELATED: Snuneymuxw plan to open new, larger school

“We have our own Hul’qumi’num language teacher, so she does language and culture, so she’ll teach them songs, they drum and they also learn the curriculum,” said Harris. “She has different levels of the Hul’qumi’num language that she teaches to them and every year they participate in a (language) competition with the school district.”

Harris said the school will be open to indigenous students and all students as well.

“Ideally what we’re going to do is recruit students from the broader community and have a different busing schedule when we move here because we have 56 kids now and the idea is to get up to about 100 kids,” said Harris.

Construction on the 1,814-square-metre building is expected to begin in April with an anticipated completion time of April 2019.

Harris said Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh means strong children.

“So we’re building strong children, not muscles, but it means building strong children for their minds, their culture, the pride of who they are as Snuneymuxw, or if we get children who aren’t from Snuneymuxw, we build them up strong to believe in who they are and where they come from … our belief is after they leave us in Grade 7 they go on to the high school that they’re strong enough to make it to Grade 12 and go on to post-secondary.”

The $10.7 million for construction comes from the federal government.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

Humboldt memorial hockey tournament will make its return in Nanaimo

Fundraising tournament set for Nanaimo North Town Centre parking lot on May 5

Anti-immigration party is on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Opposing candidate says National Citizens Alliance’s participation ‘highly problematic’

VIDEO: Next up on World of Dance: Vancouver Island’s Funkanometry faces ‘the cut’

Duncan’s Carlow Rush and Nanaimo’s Jacksun Fryer have passed the qualifying stage chasing $1 million

Clippers optimistic as they put finishing touches on cup-hosting bid

Nanaimo’s junior A hockey club hopes to host RBC Cup nationals in 2020-21

VIU visual art show spans a Spectrum of art forms

Spectrum: Visual Art Major Grad Show continues until May 9 at the View Gallery

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Nanaimo says ‘hats off’ to community’s countless volunteers

Volunteer Nanaimo offered thanks during National Volunteer Week

Most Read