A former elementary school in Cedar will see new life as a language learning center for learners of the Hul’q’umi’num language.

On Thursday, July 21, Snuneymuxw First Nation, in partnership with Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, officially opened the Snuneymuxw Learning Academy on the former site of Woodbank Elementary School.

In 2018, it was announced that the site would offer a variety of programs for the community, including mentoring and youth and elder programs.

“This marks a significant milestone for Snuneymuxw literacy and for Hul’q’umi’num speakers,” Chief Mike Wyse said in a press release. “The SLA Building also houses our Snuneymuxw Traditional Medicine Clinic, because learning is healing and healing is learning.”

The academy has partnered with the Hul’q’umi’num Language and Culture Society and the Indigenous Languages ​​Program at Simon Fraser University, and welcomes the Hul’q’umi’num Certificate to the Proficiency Cohort of indigenous languages ​​in 2022-23, according to the Liberation.

“We are grateful to the Snuneymuxw education team and everyone who has helped us make Woodbank an amazing Snuneymuxw-led center of learning and well-being,” SFN Councilor Isaac Thomas said during the inauguration ceremony. opening July 21. “Today we celebrate a new era of learning and healing together.

During the opening ceremony, the students presented plays, skits, poems and songs in the Hul’q’umi’num language, followed by a feast and the official unveiling of the new sign of the academy.

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