Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw and Partners Repurpose Little Yellow Schoolhouse

August 2, 2023: North Vancouver, BC – Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), working closely with the Vancouver School Board and Renewal Home Development, and supported by the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Parks Board, have saved an historic building from demolition. The 111-year-old building, known locally as the “Little Yellow Schoolhouse” has been a fixture of the Kitsilano neighbourhood, also known as the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh village of Sen̓áḵw. The building had been slated for demolition to make way for the new Henry Hudson Elementary School. It will now be repurposed by Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw to help fill the Nation’s urgent infrastructure needs. The “Little Yellow Schoolhouse” is being moved from its current location and relocated to Xwmélch’tstn (Capilano), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh reserve land on the North Shore.

Here are the details of the move:

  • The schoolhouse departed Kitsilano at approximately 10:00 pm on August 1 and was put on a barge.
  • It travelled on the barge overnight, passing under the Lions Gate Bridge, and is scheduled to arrive on the North Shore around 4:00 pm today.
  • It will be moored close to the foot of Lions Gate Bridge until it is moved on the morning of August 3 to the permanent site close to the Chief Joe Mathias Centre in Xwmélch’sten.
  • The building will be modernized and repurposed by the Nation as a centre for early childhood education and will teach Sḵwx̱wú7mesh young ones Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim (Squamish language).

The Nation will be holding a media availability as the building moves along the Spirit Trail on Welch Street to its new location close to Chief Joe Mathias Centre.

When: Thursday, August 3, 2023
Time: Anytime between 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: outside Ta na wa Shéway I7x̱w ta Úxwumixw (Planning & Capital Projects) office, 193 Mathias Rd. West Vancouver, BC, V7P 1P6

B-roll of the overnight move will be available at this link and there is parking for media on-site. Note that due to road closures for the move, it is advised to enter Xwmélch’tstn (Capilano) via Marine Drive and Mathias Road.

For more information, please contact:
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw – media@squamish.net
Renewal Home Development – Glyn Lewis, glyn@renewaldevelopment.ca, 778-522-0753


“We are so pleased to work with our partners at the Vancouver School Board and Renewal Home Development. The relocation of this building helps our Nation address our urgent infrastructure needs right now. It will be put to good use as a dedicated space to teach our little ones Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim, our language, and immerse our future generations in our culture and heritage.”

– Sxwíxwtn, Wilson Williams, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Spokesperson

“I am pleased to see this beloved building repurposed by the Squamish Nation and continue to serve children today and in the years ahead. I want to recognize and thank the collaborative efforts of VSB staff, Squamish Nation, City of Vancouver, Park Board and Renewal Home Development for coming together to make this project a reality.”

– Victoria Jung, Vancouver School Board Chair

“Now, more than ever, we need an array of development solutions to lower our carbon footprint, divert material waste and provide affordable high-quality homes and buildings to communities in need. Our hope is this Little Yellow School House project will catch the attention and mobilize the imagination of developers and policy makers across the region. Over 800 high-value buildings and homes are demolished each year that can, and should, be relocated and repurposed. Machine demolition should be the last option, not the first.”

– Glyn Lewis, Owner of Renewal Home Development

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (also known as the Squamish Nation) is a unity of the Squamish Peoples with an uplifting culture, rich history, and exciting future. The Nation is an innovative Indigenous government that uses its resources to provide, guide, and protect the Squamish territory and Squamish People. The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Stélmexw (Squamish People) continue to reside in the area now described as the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The largest proportion of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Members live in several urban reserve communities in the present-day cities of Vancouver, North and West Vancouver and the municipality of Squamish, B.C. Over 47 per cent of the nearly 4,100 Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Members live on-reserve, and membership is determined by guidelines set out in the Squamish Nation Membership Code. The Nation has never ceded or surrendered title to its lands, rights to its resources or the power to make decisions within its territory.