Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ administration centre boardroom features Hul’q’umi’num’ phrases and Indigenous art. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ administration centre boardroom features Hul’q’umi’num’ phrases and Indigenous art. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo school district finding new ways to expand Indigenous language instruction

SD68 trustees updated on Hul’q’umi’num’ language learning

Two years after passing a reconciliation policy, Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district reports it is finding new ways to bolster Indigenous language instruction.

The district’s Syeyutsus reconciliation policy and framework is guiding document that seeks balance between First Nations and western traditions. Ted Cadwallader, Indigenous learning director of instruction, updated trustees at their March board meeting about Hul’q’umi’num’ language work.

“We were able to identify and recruit, over the last two years, three new Hul’q’umi’num’ teachers and we now have seven teachers working in our school district certified with First Nations language teaching certificates,” Cadwallader said.

The teachers are dispersed over 26 schools and Cadwallader said the situation is “still thin on the ground, still fragile” as there are such a small number of Hul’q’umi’num’-certified language teachers, with a “great need” in the district. The teachers are also teaching in post-secondary and community programs as well, he said.

The district provides dedicated funding out of its targeted aboriginal education budget annually, said Cadwallader, with a line item for resource development and training. He said the school district has purchased microphones and speakers so that when teachers are wearing their masks, they can still be heard clearly by students.

Ongoing training is being provided for the remainder of the year, with assistance of a fluent Hul’q’umi’num’ speaker, according to Cadwallader. Teachers met two weeks ago and will meet five more times before conclusion of the school year.

The district added an Indigenous learning coordinator, Tannis Calder, at the beginning of last school year, Cadwallader said, which has yielded dividends.

“Her incredible skill set of working with our language teachers has helped the district set up a publishing entity to start with called NLPS Learns and through that publishing company, we’ve published … [a] book, Shxw’al’uq’wa, about families and so there’s a number of publishing pieces that are on the roll,” Cadwallader said.

Calder’s skill set has also allowed the district to offer digital resources; for example, said Cadwallader, a colouring book has an embedded QR code so that students can hear the book being read to them in the Hul’q’umi’num language.

“We learned last year, during remote learning because of COVID, that our language teachers’ resources were based in hard copy for the most part and so that’s why [there’s] this effort to build these digital resources,” Cadwallader said.

A teacher has been assigned to the early-learning centre at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School, he said, to teach pre-school children and start the school “on that path of a Hul’q’umi’num’ immersion environment.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Nanaimo school district adopts reconciliation policy

RELATED: Qwam Qwum school features language immersion

RELATED: SD68 takes initial steps to reconciliation

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read