Vancouver elementary school receives gifted name from Musqueam

An elementary school in East Vancouver has been renamed in the dialect of the Musqueam people. The name wek̓ʷan̓əs tə syaqʷəm, meaning “the sun has risen,” was gifted to the former Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary School in East Vancouver in a ceremony led by Musqueam Band member Victor Guerin. Elder Larry Grant taught students and staff how to say the school’s new name in a ceremony. The new name reflects the the school’s location in the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood. The renaming coincides with the completion of the new school building, which is reportedly the first seismically safe school built with mass timber in British Columbia. CBC reports that the renaming of the school is part of a broader movement to reconsider the names of schools, and that Gladstone Secondary School and Lord Strathcona Elementary School may also be renamed.

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