Langley Secondary School has renamed its teams from the Saints to Thunderbirds (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley Secondary School has renamed its teams from the Saints to Thunderbirds (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Call them Thunderbirds: Langley Secondary School changes team name from Saints

A student survey found 80 per cent couldn’t relate to the old name

Formerly the Saints, Langley Secondary School (LSS) teams will now be known as the Thunderbirds.

LSS announced the change Wednesday, June 9, in a statement that said the Thunderbird is an Indigenous symbol representing power, protection and represents the identity and values of the LSS community.

Principal Marcello Moino said “when students can see an embodiment of their values, it helps to connect them better to their community.”

A student survey found approximately 80 per cent did not identify with the word or any visual of “saint.” Engagement with staff produced the same findings.

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A committee made up of administrators and staff consulted with current students, staff, alumni, District Aboriginal Advisory Committee, and four local First Nations.

The school sponsored an open competition, where artists from four First Nations in the Langley School District were invited to submit their proposals.

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Kwantlen First Nation artist Brandon Gabriel was selected to work with muralist Dean Lauzé.

“We wanted to ensure First Nations education leaders walked along side us on this journey to embrace the story of the Thunderbird and our school,” Moino commented.

The school unveiled the new logo in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday June 9. Plans are to have a large mural of the Thunderbird painted in the gym in time for the opening of the next school year.


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