Yúusnew̓as is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh community-led project to research and document the residential school experiences of our people. Our intent is to provide a safe space to listen to our truth-tellers and to take care of one another with cultural, emotional, and spiritual wellness support. This process has our ancestors, truth-tellers, and community at its heart as we highlight pathways of healing for today and generations to come.

Click below to listen to the pronunciation of Yúusnew̓as.

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw is the lead community for the archival and land-based research into the former St. Paul’s Residential School. The site is located on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory in North Vancouver and we are working closely with səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Indian Band. Other communities also attended this school while it was open from 1899 until it was shut down in 1959.

The word yúusnew̓as was proposed by the Elders Advisory Committee for the project name as a recognition that we must take care of survivors as well as all who have been impacted by intergenerational harms. This seven generation approach was the guiding principle for the Growth and Unity project logo, designed by Nation artist Calvin Charlie-Dawson.

I'm hoping this image will promote our unity and teamwork in our community towards a common good – whether it be upholding our Elders and the journey they have lived, or our new ones for a journey to come. The four heads represent us as a people, the encircling figure represents those looking over us (our ancestors), and the small floral figure in the middle is being guided and protected as we would our children and children's children.

Calvin Charlie-Dawson

Those working on the project can be reached by email: yuusnewas@squamish.net

The Yúusnew̓as Project has been set up to ensure work is done in a good way with our culture and protocols as the foundation. Click here to view a governance diagram. Knowledge keepers and those with traditional knowledge lead the project and – before delivery of activities, events, or ceremony – check the work. The Steering Committee guides the project while the Project Team actively works across multiple areas including health and wellness support, recording stories, archive and land-based research, and cultural practices.

Health & Wellness Support

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Community & Cultural Support

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Governance & Project Support
Research & Archives

Wellness & Healing Supports

wa chexw yuusténam̓ut. Take care of yourself.

Ayás Mén̓men (Child & Family Services) and Yúustway (Health & Wellness) are available to offer wellness & healing supports for Members, including traditional land-based practices. More information is available in our Wellness Guide, which was distributed to all on-reserve households in mid-July 2022. If you did not receive a copy or if you live off-reserve, please email yuusnewas@squamish.net.

Mackenzie Gomez – Yúusnew̓as Health Lead
Phone: 604-360-3911 or 604-982-0332
Email: Mackenzie_Gomez@squamish.net

Hannah Rushton – Yúusnew̓as Wellness Lead
Phone: 778-233-4869 or 604-985-4111
Email: Hannah_Rushton@squamish.net

24/7 External Supports
Indian Residential School Survivors Society: 1-800-721-0066

KUU-US Crisis Line Society: 1-800-588-8717

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419

Brushing off

North Vancouver Elders Center

Between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm on the dates below

  • Thursday, September 7, 2023
  • Thursday, October 5, 2023
  • Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Totem Hall

Between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm on the dates below

  • Friday, September 15, 2023
  • Friday, October 20, 2023
  • Friday, November 17, 2023

Ayás Mén̓men (Child & Family Services), 380 Welch Street, West Vancouver 

  • Cedar brushing – every other Wednesday from 9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Candle blessing – every Wednesday from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Truth Telling

Kwitelut, Carla George and Adina Williams are ready to support those who wish to create their legacy of truth. These truths will assist the Project Team in their research. The oral histories will also help shape our understanding of the IRS experience as the community heals and moves forward together. Please reach out if you would like to know more or are ready to gift your truth.

Kwitelut, Carla George

Community Liaison
Click here for bio and contact information

Adina Williams

Community Liaison
Click here for bio and contact information

Project Communications