About Siwal Si’wes, Our Forefathers’ Teachings
Il stl’i kw’els spipetstexw kw’eset ite xwelmexwelh stexwlaq temxwe’s ye Stó:lō mestiyexw.
We acknowledge that, as a learning partners of Mission Public School District, we humbly work and learn on the Traditional, Ancestral, Unceded, and Shared lands of the Stó:lō people, of Qwó:ltl’el, Leq’á:mel, Matheqwí, Sq’éwlets, peoples of this land since time immemorial. We acknowledge members of Indigenous groups whose ancestors originated on traditional Turtle Island (lands now known as Canada) outside of Stó:lō territory and who currently reside on Stó:lō lands, and all Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth.
Nous reconnaissons qu’en tant que partenaires d’apprentissage du conseil scolaire de Mission, nous travaillons et apprenons humblement sur les terres traditionnelles, ancestrales, non-cédées et partagées du peuple Stó:lō , des nations Qwó:ltl’el, Leq’á:mel, Matheqwí, Sq’éwlets, qui sont les habitants de cette terre depuis des temps immémoriaux.
Mission Public School District 75 appreciates the vital role of all Indigenous peoples, groups, organizations and associations residing within the lands of Qwó:ltl’el, Leq’á:mel, Matheqwí and Sq’éwlets and those residing in Mission, and involved in and/or connected to and to:
• Fraser Valley Métis Association
• Métis Nation of BC
• Lower Stat’limx Nations
• Mission Friendship Centre
• Future 4 Nations Preschool
• Members of the Inuit Community
• Members of Indigenous groups whose ancestors originated on traditional Turtle Island territories (the lands which are now known as Canada) and who currently reside on Stó:lō lands
We also acknowledge the traditional teachings of Elders and the wisdom and sharing of Indigenous Culture.
The Story of Siwal Si'wes
In the late 1980's, Agnes Giesbrecht, Robert Charlie and Virginia Joe met to discuss the creation of a vision for the Indigenous Department of Mission Public School System. Heather Hansson (former District Counsellor for Indigenous Youth) and Mel Jack (former Indigenous Liaison Worker) requested self- taught Kwakwaka'wakw artist, the late Roy J. Hanuse, to create a design that would capture and portray the Indigenous Department of Mission Public Schools District 75. Once Roy completed the design, Mel and Heather then enlisted Dr. Gwen Point, who, in collaboration Elders from Coqualeetza, named the design. The design was then gifted the name Siwal Si'wes: our forefathers' teachings. A traditional ceremony was held at Fraserview Elementary School (now Fraserview Learning Centre) to celebrate the naming, with the Honourable Steven Point as the speaker of the house. (Information received from Mel Jack & Heather Hansson, February 2020).
Working as a community, we will enhance student empowerment by developing the skills, wellness, confidence, and self-reliance necessary for our children and youth to flourish and prosper throughout their life journey.
Recognizing and nurturing strengths, students will thrive as individuals, thus contributing to the well-being of their families and communities while preserving tradition.
Indigenous Enhancement Agreement
November 13, 2007 was a monumental day for Mission Public Schools as they signed their first Indigenous Enhancement Agreement to improve Indigenous student success in the Public Education System. The Mission Board of Education, Indigenous leaders and representatives from the Ministry celebrated the signing along with students, staff and community members.