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A new look and a new name for James Hill Elementary school teams in Langley.

Seawolves name and logo crafted as part of ‘truth and reconciliation’ journey
Cultural presenter and artist Carman McKay unveiled the new logo he designed for James Hill Elementary on its 25th anniversary. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Students and staff at James Hill Elementary will now be calling themselves the Seawolves.

The Murrayville school celebrated its 25th anniversary with the unveiling of a new school logo on Friday, June 11.

The former logo, a knight, has been representing the school since the mid-90s.

This change in branding to a seawolf, which is depicted by a wolf inside of an orca, is part of the school’s “Truth and Reconciliation” journey that started five years ago, under the guidance of one of the District’s Aboriginal program cultural presenters, Carman Mackay.

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Lynn Fairley, principal of James Hill Elementary, said McKay “has guided our James Hill journey and our entire staff through years of discovering and aligning us to come together to create a collective vision.”

“Our animals represent connection, protection, and family,” Fairley explained.

“We travel as a pack, staying together, and support each other as a community. Our animals are loyal to family protectors and connect the land and sea by coming together. Our rebranding is of a storyteller who holds the records of history and represents a gateway of a new destiny.

Before unveiling the seawolf logo, McKay talked about the importance of belonging and family within the school community.

“We don’t need to be blood related to feel like we belong,” McKay commented.

“I appreciate that very sentiment. I know I’m not blood related to you, but I do appreciate you and your presence in my life like family. You have heard about Residential school ideas. There’s reasons why the creation of family is important and to maintain this idea,” said McKay who created the design.

“I was asked as a contemporary artist to look towards what James Hill feels like, and what James Hill represents. And for me, you are my family. The seawolf hunts and lives as a pack. All of us hunting and living as a pack in some shape or form,” he added.

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The ceremony began with a traditional welcome, reflective video messages from past administrators, and the opening of an historic time capsule buried in the school’s wall.

“Our rebranding has been about reflecting on our 25-year past, bringing us into the present on our Reconciliation journey, and recognizing and moving from the past forward into the future,” added Fairley to close the presentation.

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