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It is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for reflection, humility and hope. As a settler in the territory of the T’sail Waututh, Musqueum, Squamish and Kwikwetlam peoples, I feel immense gratitude for what I have learned, and continue to learn, from the First Peoples of these lands, and from my former Treaty 6 area of Alberta. I have learned about traditional knowledge, marine and land stewardship, the legacy and pain of colonialism, what self-governance can mean, the intensified feelings of connection in ceremony, the incredible power of sharing, and the healing power of nature. I have felt the gifts of patience, grace, deep listening, and call to justice as modelled by indigenous friends, research partners and colleagues. There is much to do for all of us to create a world in which Indigenous people are treated with dignity, celebration and justice. Let’s be part of that change we wish to see.
It is of great value to me that we have Archaeology professors in the Faculty of Environment, such as Rudy Reimer, George Nicholas, Hugo Cardoso, and Dongya Yang who are working with colleagues such as Eldhon Yellowhorn in the Department of Indigenous Studies to identify the children in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops, and Brandon Indian Residential School locations. We stand in solidarity with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, the Secwepemc Nation and other Indigenous Nations across Canada. We commit to teaching our students more about these systemic and wrongful institutional practices and invite all our students, faculty and staff to continue to work toward reconciliation.
Dean, Faculty of Environment
We share five ways to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day this year.
How will you mark National Indigenous Peoples Day?
3. Learn about the languages of the First Nations Communities where SFU resides.
Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus is on Burnaby Mountain. This is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.
In Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Burnaby Mountain is: Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten
Visit SFU’s Bill Reid Centre to learn more about Coast Salish place names.
Did you know
- Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), means People of the Inlet?
- Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) is derived from the flowering plant, məθkʷəy̓, which grows in the Fraser Rivere estuary?
- Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm) refers to a small red salmon or unique sockeye salmon that once ran in large numbers in the Coquitlam river and Coquitlam Lake. The Kwikwetlem nation takes their name from this forebearer that sustained their community for thousands of years?
Visit The Squamish Nation to learn greetings and more in Skwxwú7mesh Snichim.