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

Just Posted

WHAT’S IN STORE: Langley City getting its sparkle on tonight

From 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 a number of downtown merchants are holding a shopping party

Hallmark-famous Santa makes one last stop in Aldergrove

Keith Alton’s 50th year as St. Nick continues on Friday (Dec. 13) at Aldergrove pierogi shop

Drugged, drunk drivers pulled off Langley roads

Criminal charges and three-month driving bans were laid

$16,500 raised in Aldergrove, 66 kids go to camp free in memory of Brooklyn

Family and camp friends remember late young Loft Country rider during Saturday night fundraiser

WEATHER: Rain to end late Thursday in Langley

Temperatures will remain steady near 8 C

VIDEO: Langley’s newest high school officially opens

A brief ceremony Thursday morning allowed all the players involved in new school to celebrate

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

National cold case hunters take on search for missing man last seen in B.C.

Kristofer Couture’s car was found at Chilliwack trailhead in January but there’s been no sign since

Metro Vancouver mayors green light regional business license for ride-hailing

Surrey mayor only member to vote against inter-municipality business license

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read