tetul’ ’u tu syuw’a’numa’: A culturally-based Hul’q’umi’num’ language program

Mandy (Verna) Jones

About me
’een’thu Yutustantaat, tun’ni’ tsun ’utl’ Snuneymuxw. kwunu menulh George Wyse tenulh Marge Thomas. I am a Hul’q’umi’num coordinator for School District 68 and completed an MA at SFU. I am married to Andy Jones and have two children, Georgina and John.

My project
This project describes the creation of the Hul’q’umi’num’ language curriculum created for the Land and Language Based Learning Program delivered to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at Ladysmith Secondary from 2016 to the present. Our program is based on traditional Coast Salish ways of learning our language and culture. Curriculum is based on my own family traditions as well as the wisdom shared by our weavers, knitters, and a master carver. The teachings discussed in this paper include the many gifts of cedar-weaving, drum making, fibre processing—cleaning, teasing, carding, and spinning wool— and weaving. I designed this curriculum so that students can work “as granny did” so that the sense memories of past work could be brought into the present. Our work together has demonstrated the richness of traditional teachings to awaken cultural knowledge and language, the power of nuts’umaat shqwaluwun ‘one heart, one mind.’

Keywords: Hul’q’umi’num’; wool; cedar; Coast Salish