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News: Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Abbotsford teams top Halq’emeylem Language Contest

Language, culture and the land are interconnected in Aboriginal culture. On Friday, April 28th Abbotsford students took part in the Halq’eméylem Language Contest, held at the longhouse on the Sumas First Nation.

After a traditional welcome by the Silver family, and students from Seabird Island and Robert Bateman Secondary drumming in the grand entry, Elder Elizabeth Phillips told the traditional story of Coyote and Bear in Halq’eméylem. Elder Phillips in the last fluest speaker of Halq’eméylem. Upper Sumas Elementary students, Jodi Silver and Clayton Ritchie, read the story in English for students and the audience.

152 students from K-12 competed in the Halq’eméylem Langage Contest.

Winning Abbotsford School District teams:

  • 1st place: WA Fraser Middle School
  • 2nd place: Upper Sumas Elementary

The competition was a powerful expression of language revitalization, and people coming together to celebrate the future with hope.

Additionally, 45 students from grades 9-12 competed in a First Nation’s Slahal Contest involving strategy, prediction, probability, drumming and dance.  These traditional games are energetic and creative, encapsulating critical thinking, teamwork and cultural pride.

Abbotsford School District will be offering Halq’eméylem classes, as an accredited BC Ministry of Education language course at Yale Secondary in 2017/2018