The New West school district joins other districts in the region by approving a policy that acknowledges the traditional First Nations territories on which it conducts its work.
New Westminster is now among several districts, including Delta, Burnaby and Vancouver, that have a policy recognizing the territories of First Nations in the Lower Mainland.
Keen to start this new practice, New West trustees opened the Feb. 23 board meeting with the new greeting, which states “the New Westminster School District recognizes and acknowledges the Qayqayt First Nation, as well as all Coast Salish peoples, on whose traditional and unceded territories we live, we learn, we play and we do our work.”
At the meeting, trustee Mark Gifford, who sits on the education policy and planning committee, thanked Qayqayt First Nation chief Rhonda Larrabee and assistant superintendent Janet Grant for spearheading the new policy.
The acknowledgement will be given at graduations and other large celebrations, including assemblies, board meetings and facility openings, according to the new policy.