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September 2023 - Acknowledgement of Land and Language

Siwal Si'wes Indigenous Education Department, alongside the Siwal Si'wes Indigenous Education Advisory Council (SWSW IEAC) have been working diligently to co-create a Land Acknowledgement that was authentic, accurate and standardized throughout Mission Public Schools. We reached a consensus with local Nations and the SWSW IEAC in June 2023.  

Il stl'i kw'els spipetstexw kw'eset ite xwelmexwelh stexwlaq temexws ye Stó:lō mestiyexw.

Mission Public School District is located on the Traditional, Ancestral, Unsurrendered, and Shared territories of Stó:lō people, of Leq'á:mel, Semá:th, Máthxwi, Sq'éwlets and Qwó:ltl'el First Nations, stewards of this land since time immemorial.

Halq'eméylem is the language of this land and of Stó:lō ancestors. The place from where Halq'eméylem (Upriver dialect) originates is Leq'á:mel. The language comes from the land, and it has been this way since time immemorial.

The Land Acknowledgement will be inscribed on wooden plaques and displayed in the foyer of every school and department.

We, as members of the [ INSERT SCHOOL NAME HERE ] community, embrace our commitments to strengthening partnerships and relationships with all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.

The school district acknowledges and thanks the Nations who worked alongside Siwal Si'wes in supporting this work.​

March 2023

Indigenous Graduation Requirement. ​​Effective the 2023/24 school year, all students working toward a B.C. Certificate of Graduation (“Dogwood Diploma”), in English or French, must successfully complete at least 4 credits in Indigenous-focused coursework. This requirement applies to students in B.C. public, independent, First Nations, and offshore schools. There is no change to the total number of credits required to graduate, which remains at 80.​ Click on the image below to read the full Ministry Indigenous Grad Parent Brochure​​. 


​​February 2023​

2021-2022 Annual Report​​

​​Siwal Si'wes is excited to share the Annual Report for 2021-2022. Please take a read and learn about the story of Siwal Si'wes, our council, Indigenous Elders, Teachers and Learners. Click the image on the right to review the document.​​


January 10, 2023


​​You will notice that the graphic now has six paddles instead of three. These paddles represent the five local First Nations upon whose lands SD75 sits, Sq'éwlets, Leq'á:mel, Sema:th, Matheqwí and Qwó:ltl'el First Nations. The sixth feather collectively represents additional Indigenous groups served by SD75, including but not limited to, Lower Stat’limx Nations, Members of the Metis community, Members of the Inuit community, Members of all Indigenous groups whose ancestors originated on traditional Turtle Island territories (lands which are now known as Canada) and who currently reside on Stó:lō lands, and Members of Siwal Si’wes and SD75. It is a symbol of collaborative spirit of lets’e mot, lets’e thale,; sqwalewel a good mind, good heart and good feeling. 


September 9, 2022​

Attend the National Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day Event on Sept. 30


​​September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools. The date also occurs on what was formerly known as Orange Shirt Day, which was inspired by Phyllis Webstad's story of having her special orange shirt, a gift from her grandmother, ripped away on her first day at the St. Joseph Mission Residential School.

The community is invited to attend the second National Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day event at Fraser River Heritage Park on September 30. Speakers include local Indigenous leaders. Th event will be held at the former site of St. Mary's Indian Residential School. Missionaries opened a boarding school at the St. Mary mission in the Fraser Valley in 1863. The school was relocated in 1882 and a new school was built in 1933. Eventually the school was integrated into the federal Indian Residential School system. The school closed in 1984, and was the last Indian Residential School to close in British Columbia.

This event in timely in that, as per the website XYÓLHMET YE SYÉWIQWÉLH (TAKING CARE OF OUR CHILDREN),  “Stó:lō Nation Chiefs' Council (SNCC), under the leadership of Chief David Jimmie, President of the SNCC, launched a broad-based and inclusive initiative to investigate potential unmarked graves and missing children related to three of the former Residential School sites within S'ólh Téméxw.  This initiative includes the former St. Mary's, Coqualeetza, and All Hallows institutions in Mission, Chilliwack, and Yale, in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia." This work began in early September 2022 at St. Mary's in Fraser River Heritage Park and will continue every Thursday and Friday of each week in September, as long as the weather cooperates (i.e., no heavy rain). As the rain impacts the accuracy of the equipment, the work will stop for the rainy months and resume in late Spring 2023. There are a few different sites within the former St. Mary's grounds that will need to be investigated over the course of the next year or so. Once the work is complete, a report will be generated, and the findings shared.

The event begins at 11 a.m. at Fraser River Heritage Park, and attendees are asked to wear orange, as well as bring their own chairs, snacks, and water. You are also welcome to bring your drum and encouraged to join in the drumming.  Elder parking is available onsite. Contact Marcy Buell at or 604 826-3103 for an Elder parking pass. Additional parking is available at Heritage Park Middle School and Windebank Elementary.
The event is presented in partnership by Siwal Si'wes Indigenous Education Advisory Council and Members of local Nations, including Sq'éwlets, Leq'á:mel, and Kwantlen, Siwal Si'wes Indigenous Education Department, Mission Public School District 75, Members of the Board of Education, the Mission Friendship Centre and the City of Mission.


Event Contact

Vivian Searwar
District Principal of Indigenous Education
Mission Public School District 75​​