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A Special Welcome Back from Indigenous Elders

As the 2020-21 school year begins, we want to share a special welcome back to students, their families and staff from local Elders.

The District’s Indigenous Education department respectfully asked local Elders to offer some guidance, and we are grateful for the support of Elder Latash Nahanee from the Skwxú7mesh Nation, and Elder Roberta Price from the Coast Salish Territory of Snuneymuxw and Cowichan Nations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone. The District is also sensitive to the complex and devastating history that pandemics have had on many Indigenous communities and the impact that may have on families.

Both Elders Price and Nahanee have done much to support learning and reconciliation within the Burnaby School District. They have now gifted us with a video greeting to welcome all students, staff and families to the new school year. In it, they share greetings and song, as well as words of wisdom for us all.

Elder Roberta Price:

As an elder who shares unconditional love for so many in so many communities, I will keep each and every family that lives works and plays in the Burnaby School District in my prayers every single day to help lift up your spirit –  to help you have some optimism about our future in going forward together.”

As we work together to support each other during these unusual times, Elder Latash Nahanee encouraged us all to develop our hearts:

Be compassionate to your fellow students. Be compassionate to your teachers and your leaders in the school. Meet each other part way each day… Walk forward in a good way. Have strength. Have courage. Always, always be kind to one another.”

See their full welcome here: