Schools Training

Canadian University Gets New Name to Reflect First Nations Heritage

12 JAN 2016
Career Path : Education News

Langara College is a public institution in Vancouver, British Columbia, serving a campus of approximately 21,000 students per year since 1994. But as of today, Langara is no longer just Langara. Students and faculty will begin to refer to the school by its new name: snəeyəɬ lelə.

Langara College invited elders of the Musqueam First Nation to rename the school as a means of acknowledging a historic fact: the campus sits atop land that was once a Musqueam village.

Snəeyəɬ lelə (pronounced sno-WAY-ith LAY-lum) means “house of teaching” in the Musqueam language. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson attended a ceremony on campus this afternoon, granting the post-secondary institution its new aboriginal name. Now Langara/ snəeyəɬ lelə are to be used interchangeably on official college documents.

“It reflects the relationship that we have with Musqueam and it reflects that relationship as a transition in learning,” said Langara/snəeyəɬ lelə President Lane Trotter.

“What we’re looking for with this is making sure the duality we share is recognized,” he said. “We are on Musqueam’s unceded territory. We are Musqueam’s college. We are Vancouver’s college. And we need to reflect that.”

This is the first time a B.C. First Nation has given an aboriginal name to a public post-secondary institution. When asked by CBC about how the school planned to put reconciliation into action, Trotter said the next few months will see new investments in aboriginal education and services at Langara/ snəeyəɬ lelə.

Source: CBC News