New signage featuring the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect was unveiled at KPU’s Langley campus on Monday, Nov.8. (From left) Dr. Alan Davis, Kwantlen Polytechnic University President and Vice-Chancellor, Fern Gabriel, Kwantlen First Nation and Langley School District, Cheryl Gabriel, Kwantlen First Nation, Donna Gabriel, Kwantlen First Nation, Val van den Broek, Mayor of the City of Langley, and Herman Ho, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Interior Designer. (KPU photo)

Signs in First Nations language go up at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley

‘It’s beyond joy, what I’m feeling’ at sight of signs: Kwantlen First Nation member

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has started installing signage bearing indigenous language as part of its reconciliation efforts.

The new signage featuring the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect was unveiled at KPU’s Langley campus on Monday, Nov. 18 by university president Dr. Alan Davis and Fern Gabriel, a member of the Kwantlen First Nation, with her sisters Cheryl and Donna and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek also present.

Gabriel says there’s no direct translation into English of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ words that describe her happiness at seeing the dialect appearing on signage at university.

“It’s beyond joy, what I’m feeling today,” she said.

“I thank you all for this day. It is history.”

READ ALSO: Kwantlen-language street signs proposed for Fort Langley

Gabriel, who teaches the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect in the Langley School District, translated the words that appear on the signage, which also features art by KPU graduate Brandon Gabriel, a mixed media artist and member of the Kwantlen First Nation.

Davis said the signage is a “step on the path to ensuring that the traditional, ancestral lands of the First Nations people in KPU’s region are properly acknowledged at all our campuses. It is also part of a much wider and deeper effort by KPU to address the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report of 2015.

He praised Gabriel, saying her “wisdom and insight have been invaluable as we try to make KPU more welcoming to all indigenous learners, employees and guests.”

READ ALSO: WATCH: Kwantlen artist unveils ‘highlight’ of his career at Ruskin Dam

The signage uses Brandon Gabriel’s original design of the salmon and the wolf, which forms part of KPU’s coat of arms.

“As a graduate of KPU, I am happy that this effort to respect the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect on university campuses is taking place,” Brandon Gabriel commented.

“To have such a sought-after language knowledge-keeper like Kwantlen First Nation’s Fern Gabriel (a.k.a. Sesməlot) to provide her input is tremendous.

“This language recognition will provide an anchor for the university community to bring more understanding and importance of local Indigenous people and history.”

The language panel has a Thunderbird design by Sehmiamoo First Nation artist Roxanne Charles.

More signage featuring the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ dialect will be installed at KPU’s Surrey campus this week.

KPU’s Richmond, Tech and Civic Plaza campuses will also have indigenous signage installed in due course.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley rotary volunteers take to the streets to promote lottery fundraiser

Local clubs have raised $17,000 so far for 50/50 lottery

Scheduled road closures in Langley

Some projects are scheduled to begin this week

ELECTION: Langley City lawyer announced run for MLA seat

Andrew Mercier is running for the NDP party in the Langley riding

Langley MLA disappointed election call came during pandemic

Mary Polak said she still wants to help constituents when asked why she’s running again

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

COVID-19 testing lineup wraps around block in Chilliwack

Testing lineup includes seniors, children and their parents as demand seems to surge

Former worker at Surrey brewery claims he was bullied on the job

Human rights complaint to be heard against Surrey’s Central City Brewers and Distillers Ltd.

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read