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 www.squamish.net
604-363-4055 | Lauren_hutchison@squamish.net