Herring Welcome Ceremony



medicine wheel


Welcome to the SD48 Learning Hub!


This blog-style webpage features projects from schools across our district that demonstrate our common goal for educational excellence:


"We will create safe, purposeful and powerful learning environments in order that all students can think critically, create, collaborate, contribute and learn."


On March 14th, the Herring Welcome Ceremony was hosted at Totem Hall, and students from Cultural Journeys worked very hard to prepare for it. The event was a great success, thanks to the hard work of various classes. Spakwus students gathered cedar stems, Sxwi7shen students collected cedar and hemlock branches, Yew yews crafted rock anchors, and Mixalh students made cedar ropes to secure the anchors to the cedar and hemlock bows. Each student played a vital role in the effort to welcome the herring back to the Atl'ka7tsem.

The group first gathered at Totem Hall to call witnesses. Chiaxstn, who represented the St'a7mes school family, was the speaker, and the school's own Gavin Lewis was the other speaker on the floor. The Land Based Coordinator at St'a7mes School, Matthew Van Oostdam, recounted elders' narratives about the herring's historic presence in the waters. Capilano Little One's School contributed a lively song and dance depicting the herring's story and ecological role, adding to the ceremony's vibrancy.

After the ceremony, the group journeyed down to the St'a7mes village waterfront, where the cedar and hemlock boughs were attached to log booms and anchored in the Atl'ka7tsem, and the day ended with a delicious feast featuring roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, soda bread and bannock, rice, and salmon, prepared using ancestral culinary techniques.

The Herring Welcome Ceremony is a beautiful way to celebrate cultural connections, culinary traditions, and ecological awareness in our community. We look forward to continuing this tradition in the future.