August 10, 2005 for immediate release
Seven students have completed the coursework for a unique program in Hazelton designed to preserve the Gitksan language for future generations.
For the past five years, the students have been taking courses towards earning a Developmental Standard Term Certificate in a First Nations Language and Culture, which allows them to teach language and culture courses in elementary or secondary schools. The Developmental Standard Term Certificate program was set up locally by the Siiwiixo’osxwim Wilnataahl Gitksan Society (Gitksan Language Society) together with the University of Northern British Columbia. The certificate was offered through Northwest Community College with approval from the BC College of Teachers. All of the courses were offered in Hazelton and the students are only the second group in BC to complete this program. The students, pictured here from left to right, are Doris Weget, Audrey Morrison, Angie Olson, Sandi Reviakin, Kellie Nyce, Darlene Clayton, and Rose Muldon.
“Over the past 100 years, our language has been eroded and is now endgangered,” says Sadie Harris of the Siiwiixo’osxwim Wilnataahl Gitksan Society. “This program is a critical step toward ensuring the maintenance growth of our Gitksan language and cultural traditions. The Siiwiixo’osxwim Wilnataahl Gitksan Society and the students wish to thank UNBC for all the help we were given throughout the years in offering this program.”
With all of the coursework now completed, the students are preparing for an eight-week, half-time practicum at John Field Elementary School in Hazelton starting in October.
The Siiwiixo’osxwim Wilnataahl Gitksan Society anticipates that the program will be able to ladder into the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Education programs through UNBC.Contact:
Rob van Adrichem, Director of Media and Public Relations, UNBC - 250.960.5622