September 17th, 2019, North Vancouver, BC — Today, the Squamish Nation is celebrating the BC Court of Appeal’s decision on the Provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Project. The Court ruled in favour of the Squamish Nation, given that the BC Environmental Assessment Office relied on the fundamentally flawed National Energy Board Report as its own Environmental Assessment Report in issuing its Certificate.

The Courts have directed the Province to reconsider the Environmental Assessment decision “in light of the changes to the original report of the National Energy Board as set out in its reconsideration report.”

“The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the original NEB report was so flawed that it doesn’t legally constitute a report, so it only makes sense that a Provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate issued based on that fatally flawed report would have to be revisited. Ideally, the BC Government would have come to that conclusion on its own, but we’re nonetheless pleased that the Court sided with the Squamish Nation in its
decision to send this matter back to Cabinet,” said Khelsilem, Squamish Nation Councillor and Spokesperson.

The Provincial government must now heed the Court’s decision and start the review process over again before a Provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate can be issued. The Province of British Columbia needs to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of the TMX Project
with the revised Environmental Assessment Act.

Squamish expects that the Province will consult extensively and deeply with Squamish Nation in respect of this reconsideration, given the very significant Aboriginal rights and title interests that stand to be impacted.

“Premier Horgan and his government need to set the bar higher and rethink their approach to the TMX Project, and truly respect Indigenous rights by jointly reviewing with the Squamish Nation and other concerned First Nations whose territories would be directly impacted by the pipeline expansion. There’s a lot of talk of reconciliation at the provincial level, and this is a critical opportunity for the province to put its words into action,” said Khelsilem.

The TMX Project poses significant risks to the Nation’s unceded territory, the community’s reliance on healthy marine and aquatic environments, and to the existence of the southern resident killer whale—a species of cultural importance to the Nation that is recognized to be
in a critical state.

The Squamish Nation remains deeply committed to holding the Provincial and Federal governments to respecting and upholding Indigenous rights.

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Media contact:
Lauren Hutchison
Communications Officer
Squamish Nation

Squamish Nation Headquarters Engagement Report

As part of the needs assessment and feasibility study conducted for a new headquarters for the Squamish Nation on the North Shore multiple engagement activities took place between March – June 2019 amongst members and staff of Squamish Nation. This report has been created from the reading of the many insights shared across the engagement activities.

Download the full report here.

World Indoor Lacrosse Championships – Special Team Visits to Squamish Nation

Chief Joe Mathias Centre will be hosting three international lacrosse teams (Netherlands, Iroquois Nations, and Serbia) for fun interactive sessions with youth elementary and high school aged. Bring your sticks, helmets and gloves.

Team Netherlands – TODAY – Sept. 13, 4:00-5:30 pm
Iroquois Nationals – Monday, Sept. 16, 4:00-5:30 pm
Team Serbia – Monday, Sept. 23, 4:00-5:30 pm

Squamish Nation Appoints New Director of Language & Cultural Affairs Department

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, September 11, 2019 — The Squamish Nation is proud to welcome Samaya Jardey as newly-appointed Director of Language & Cultural Affairs for the Nation.

“We are delighted to have Samaya join us to lead our new Language & Cultural Affairs department, which was created to focus on growing the language and culture of the Squamish People. Samaya’s skills, experience, and cultural knowledge give us great hope for the future of our language and culture,” said Orene Askew, Squamish Nation Councillor and Spokesperson.

Jardey is a Snuneymuxw member, but has spent most of her life living with her Sḵwx̱wú7mesh family in North Vancouver, and raised her son here in our community. Her great-great grandmother comes from the Squamish Valley.

Jardey knows firsthand the importance of strong connections to culture and language for our people. Most recently, she spent three years as
program manager for Through an Aboriginal Lens working with Indigenous youth who had concurrent mental health and justice challenges, connecting them with culturally-appropriate resources to support their journeys. Jardey also has two decades of experience working with former students of Indian Residential Schools.

Jardey is now working on her PhD thesis at Simon Fraser University, where she is looking at how learning to speak and understand one’s heritage Indigenous language will improve the holistic health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities, and nations.

“My work, both personal and professional, is founded on the sacred teachings of my grandmothers and grandfathers. I am honoured and excited to have this opportunity to build capacity within the Nation’s new Language & Cultural Affairs department, and will work with the intent to grow the sacred Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (Squamish language) and Snew̓íyalh (cultural teachings),” said Jardey.

The Language & Cultural Affairs Department is mandated with growing the language and culture of the Squamish People. The Department will work collaboratively to set departmental objectives, and to develop and implement policies and processes to ensure the Squamish People have
access to their culture, heritage, archives, and language.

The Squamish Nation is an Indigenous government with offices in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Squamish, BC. To learn more about the Squamish Nation, visit

Media Contact:
Lauren Hutchison
Communications Officer
Squamish Nation
604-363-4055 |


Friday, September 6, 2019


Dear Squamish Nation members,

This letter is to update you on changes to Nation funded services in the North Vancouver School District with the Squamish Language.

The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (language) is central to our identity as Squamish People. We are proud to have made significant progress in recent years to increase the availability of opportunities for our people to learn their language — including through language programs in several North Vancouver School District public schools, the post-secondary Language Certificate and Diploma programs, and, most recently, the introduction of the Language Nest pilot program, and also our move towards immersion at our Littlest Ones School. Through these programs, more Squamish Nation members than ever have been becoming speakers of our language.

Our post-secondary Language Certificate program is thriving, families are excited about the Language Nest pilot program launch at the Littlest Ones School, and we have additional adult language learners enrolled in the Squamish Language Diploma program. Our language program offerings in the public schools have been well-received by students and parents alike.

However, for this year there are changes in the language programming being offered in the North Vancouver School District. The time has come to refine the services and ensure the success of public-school language programming district wide. Since the beginning of these services over the last number of decades, they have been largely funded by the Squamish Nation’s own source revenue.

Our goal is to put Nation resources into the development of more language speakers who can converse in the language and help us produce even more speakers and expand services through all ages. We also need to continue to invest in supporting the development of adult language learners so we increase the number of potential language instructors.

We have now reached a place where we need to take a step back and invest the necessary time and resources to better enhance our language programming with capacity development, teacher and proficiency development, and program planning. After careful consideration of our available options, we have made the decision to reallocate language resources at this time to support our medium and long-term objectives
to successfully revitalize our Squamish language.

2019/2020 Language Programming in SD No. 44:

For the 2019/2020 school year, the Squamish Nation will be offering:

  • a junior and senior language program at Carson Graham Secondary
  • a once-weekly language program at Eslha7an for students registered at Mountainside,
  • and a grades 5-7 program at Norgate Elementary.

If a Squamish Nation elementary or secondary student does not attend a school where language programming is offered, but wishes to do so, their parent/guardian can go to the student’s home school principal and request a transfer. If space is available in their grade, the transfer may be completed as requested.

This includes St. Edmonds Elementary School due to teacher certification requirements.

Next Steps:

We are actively engaged in discussions with the North Vancouver School District to develop “a plan that provides for the inclusion of Squamish Nation language, culture and history in the curriculum and courses offered in the schools located in School District No. 44,” per our Protocol Agreement for Communication and Collaboration with the NVSD.

We are also in discussion with the North Vancouver School District to offer more activity-based programs for elementary school students that would involve language as a key component of the programming, including at the elementary schools that no longer have regularly-scheduled language services.

There are plans in place to establish a working group—comprised of SD No. 44 teachers, students, Squamish Nation staff, and community members—for discussions around creating a Squamish Nation language and culture-focused program in the NVSD.

Internally, we are working diligently to build the capacity and proficiency of Squamish language speakers in our community so we can create more highly proficient and fluent teachers, instructors, and mentors to help us grow our language services that create highly proficient language speakers.

The Squamish Nation recently created a dedicated department for Language & Cultural Affairs. The goal of the department is to have a dedicated team working on language and culture throughout the Squamish Nation and we are now building out that team to increase capacity, staffing, more funding, and expanded resources. Under the leadership of the new Director, Samaya Jardey, the Language & Cultural Affairs Department will work in conjunction with the Education Department to advance the growth of the Squamish Language, including in the public school system.

At the Littlest Ones School, we are launching our Language Nest pilot program this month. This is a program targeted at pre-Kindergarten children and their parents to become proficient and fluent speakers. and are excited to continue developing the necessary capacity and resources to expand the program in the future. We are also continuing to work towards Little Ones School becoming a Squamish Language immersion school, but this requires the development of more proficient and trained teachers and expanding the skills and abilities of our existing teachers.

The Squamish Nation is challenged with having a limited number of language teachers in our community who are highly proficient in our language to meet the huge need our community has for our language. We understand the change in service may be challenging and upsetting for parents who want to see their children connected to opportunities to learn our language and culture. We strongly believe in supporting the strengthening of our language and culture. However, the time had
come to make a choice between the quantity and quality of language programming we are able to offer, and strategically how we grow our services to create the best results. Our intention is to prioritize our language revitalization activities in a way to create the best results for our community and future generations.

We look forward to continuing to share updates about the programs under development in the North Vancouver School District, as well as the exciting work that is underway at our Littlest Ones School.

Chet kw’enmantúmiwit ta s7eḵw’ítel-chet.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Wick, Director of Education, Employment & Training at or 604-980-4553.

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