Hagwil Yaan Student newsletter | February 2024

Welcome to another issue of Hagwil Yaan!

Welcome back to Hagwil Yaan! If this is your first time here, volume three of this student newsletter has a new name which means "walk softly; walk slowly" in Sm'algyax! We use this name as we understand that returning to life after the pandemic can still require caution and awareness.

In each issue, we focus on an Indigenous language in our region. This month we are happy to feature the beautiful sm'algyax dialect of the Ts'ymsen people! Here we are in Ha'liwilgisiyaask (February) already.

Welcome to all new and returning students to the Goomsm (Winter) semester. Please check out the new Indigenous Student Handbook listed below to give you all the information you need as a student here at CMTN. We hope you will do great in your studies and that you have everything you need to have a successful term. Feel free to reach out to us at FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca if you need support with personal, financial or academic issues. We are here to help you every step of the way.

Enjoy, take care and stay safe!

Meet the FNAC's: Top Left to Right - Jillian Swank (Terrace Campus) & Kellie Nyce (Hazelton campus); Bottom Left to Right - Sharon Oskey (Rupert Campus) & Katie Humphrey (Smithers Campus)

'Connection is Indigenous' Indigenous Student Handbook

New or returning students can check this out for supports and resources to utilize while attending courses at CMTN! The First Nations Access Coordinators are here for you. Reach out anytime to FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca.

Online version can be viewed here on the website or by scanning this QR code.

Connection is Indigenous

Highlights of Recent Events

Walk for Wellness - Step Challenge

We are excited to start the virtual journey together from the Prince Rupert campus to the Smithers Campus, which is about 348 kms! Step challengers are on their way and stepping towards health. FNAC Katie is in the lead but we have a feeling we will catch up in the weeks to come. Each submission enters you into a monthly draw. The January prize is a new Fitbit; winner will be announced on our Facebook page! Join us any time by submitting your steps weekly from Monday to Sunday.

Harvest Spotlight

In the Ha'li suwiliinsk (January), harvesting might be a little slower, but it certainly doesn't stop! A few of the things that the Ts'ymsen people and many more Northwestern nations harvest are:

  • Ts’a̱’a̱x Clams
  • g̱a̱booḵ Cockles
  • üüx Coho
  • g̱a̱lmoos Crab
  • Txaw Halibut
  • Xmasgm buwel spot prawns

How does your community use these monthly harvests? If you are harvesting, please be sure to harvest with a good heart and take only what you need. Please seek permission to harvest on lands that belong to different communities and/or clans. As always, give thanks to the land for providing yet another delicious gift!

Upcoming Events

The ‘Xbisuunt Dancers Practice

Join the 'Xbisuunt Dancers group from the Ts'msyen Nation at Waap Galts'ap on Monday evenings for singing, drumming, and tea.

Practices are not held during exams and stat holidays.

For more information call Jill at 250.635.6511 Ext. 5222 or email FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca.

Gitlaxdax Sayt Kilim Goothl Nisga'a Dancers Practice

Join the Gitlaxdax Sayt Kilim Goothl Nisga'a Dancers from the Nisga'a Nation at Waap Galts'ap on Wednesday evenings for singing, drumming, and tea.

Practices are not held during final exams and statutory holidays.

Join in for a special Hobiyee performance at Waap Galts'ap at the end of the month!

For more information call Jill at 250.635.6511 Ext. 5222 or email FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca.

Chat with a FNAC

  • Date: February 8
  • Time: 3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
  • Where: FNAC Campus Offices or via Kaltura!

Have questions or need support during your studies, drop into these chat sessions to connect with your First Nations Access Coordinator (FNAC) team!

If you have questions or you are unable to make the session, please email FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca

All Native Basketball Tournament

  • Date: February 11th - 18th
  • Where: Jim Ciccone Civic Centre in Prince Rupert

The FNACs will be at the All Native Basketball Tournament this coming week! Come by the CMTN Information Booth to say hi and share any questions about programming. We will see you there!

If you have any questions, please email FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca.

Rattle Making Workshop

  • Dates: February 21 & 22
  • Time: 1:30p.m. - 3:30p.m.
  • Where: Your local campus or// request online option

Join the FNACs for this two part workshop on how to make your own traditional moosehide Rattle. Registration* is required; please email FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca with your name, student number, and campus location.

*Priority seating for CMTN students; staff, faculty, and community members will be added to a waitlist.

Visit with Nts'i'its'n/Ts'i'its'

There is nothing more special than going to visit with your Nts'i'its'n/*ts'i'its'. She would ask 'Niit, nda wila waan. If you are fine, doing well, you could say aam aam. She would invite you to sit at the hal'litxooxk to have sup and łiyoon. She would remind you to g̱a'wnsk in ma̱n a̱xłgm wa̱p suwilaawksa.

  • 'Niit, nda wila waan Hello, how are you?
  • halilitxooxk table
  • sup soup
  • liyoon bannock/tea biscuit
  • aam aam good; well; fine
  • g̱a'wnsk make an effort; try hard
  • ma̱n a̱xłgm wa̱p suwilaawksa post-secondary school, college or university

Bowls with Ba̱ba

Sagayt łwa’elsgm sanaasgm amgyiika – “mixture of fish and shell fish, sianaas means flour added in while cooking."

Photo captured from Güüdisk


  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 7-8 stocks of celery, diced into small bite size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic (we used pre-minced garlic from a jar)
  • 7-8 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into bite size pieces
  • 2 table spoons of flour
  • 4 table spoons of butter
  • 6-8 cups of water (we added as we went along)
  • 2 cans of clam nectar
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (if you boil the collars with the heads in the fish stock, you may not need this ingredient)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • Seasoning, as you desire – we used chili flakes, salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning

Fish stock:

  • 2 spring salmon heads, butterflied with the lips and lower jaw removed. If you don’t have salmon heads on hand, collars would also work
  • Tops and trimmings from the celery and onion, set aside to make the fish stock (see photo below)
  • 4 cups of water
  • Your preferred seasoning to taste (optional)
  • Directions: Add the butterflied fish heads, celery stock, seasoning and water in a large side pot, and bring it to a low boil. Continue this for 30-45 minutes. It’s a good idea to start this first, while you prep the rest of your soup. After boiling the fish heads for 30-45 minutes, you’ll start to see the fish oils forming on the surface of the water. This is a good sign!

Meat Prep:

  • 4 cups of frozen clams, diced while half thawed (this makes it easier to dice the clams)
  • 1 lb of peeled prawn tails, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 lbs halibut, cubed in 1-2cm cubes
  • 2 lbs winter spring salmon (we used the tailpiece to avoid bones), cubed into 1-2cm cubes
  • 5-6 slices of thick cut bacon, diced into bite size pieces and pre-fried. Once cooked, you can cook and blot them on paper towel
  1. Prep Fish Stock
  2. Prep Meat
  3. On medium heat, add butter and onion to the bottom of the soup pot until onions are translucent.
  4. Add garlic and celery, warm with the onions for a minute, and add the flour. After warming for a minute or two, add the water, potato, clam nectar, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and fish stock from the side pot through a strainer (less the boiled salmon heads and celery).
  5. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, top up your pot with water until it is 3/4 full. Once the temperature has been brought up to a low boil again, add in your proteins (including the bacon). It doesn’t take much time at all to cook the clam, prawn, halibut and salmon, especially since they’re diced up into small bite size pieces. Bring to a low boil once again, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until all flavours are incorporated.
  6. Once the meat is cooked, serve hot with buns or crackers!

Recipe shared through Güüdisk website! Check out this resource for more Sm'algyax and delicious recipes for your traditional harvests. Güüdisk knows that the best place to enjoy this dish is right beside a fire. For your enjoyment, Güüdisk has also filmed a crackling fire for you to virtually sit beside and enjoy your meal on the land - even if you are away at school!

Your weekly meme!

Captured from The Ultimate 80s Facebook Page

Indigenous Reads

The Princess and the Sea-Bear; and other Tsimshian Stories

Captured from Google Images

These nine legends, centred around the village of Metlakatla near Prince Rupert harbour, depict the wholeness and the spiritual connection with nature of the traditional Tsimshian way of life.

The Princess and the Sea-Bear is a Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" book. This wonderful book is available to borrow with your student ID from the CMTN Library!

Indigenous Media

All Native Basketball Tournament - Prince Rupert, B.C.

This video captures the heart of the All Native Basketball Tournament that takes place in Prince Rupert each year. The video shows the history of the tournament, and what it means to people in the northwest. Teams from First Nation communities in the northwest gather to showcase their skills, fostering a sense of unity and pride. You will see attending these tournaments requires months of fundraising which is a testament to the dedication and passion of the teams and their fans.

Beyond the games, it is a time to reconnect with old friends, make new friends and creating lasting memories that extend far beyond the basketball court. Dim huxw ga'ay nisim! (See you all there!)

COVID-19 and Wellness: Golden Rules on Campus

  • If you're sick, stay home and get tested
  • Masks as of March 14, 2022 are now optional in all indoor public spaces at CMTN.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly; Use hand sanitizer when it's available
  • Cover your face when you cough or sneeze
  • As restrictions lift for space limitations, it is important to acknowledge that some are still practising careful social contact. Please be considerate.

Student Support

Coast Mountain Students' Union

Golnoosh Namazi, organiser for the Coast Mountain Students’ Union, is here to support students with events, services and advocacy. If you’re having trouble understanding your rights as a student, navigating through school procedures and policies or engaging in campus life then the Students’ Union is here to support you. Download the CMSU app for virtual community boards, services and support systems in your region.

To learn more about what the student union does, email CMSU at:

CMSU Health & Dental Plan

Attention new students who are starting in January 2024! Please be aware of the CMSU Health & Dental Plan that you are auto-enrolled into when you register for six or more unit courses in a semester.

The deadline is January 30, 2024.

This is a $275 annual fee that students can choose to opt-out of if you already have coverage. The cost is subject to change.

Opt out link can be found here: https://cmsu.studenthealthbc.ca/LearnOptout

You have 30 days to opt-out from your program start. Connect with organiser@mycmsu.ca for more details or contact a FNAC at FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca to assist you with opting out.

Learner Services

Peer Tutoring

The Writing Centre is open on Terrace campus! Staffed by peer tutors. Students can drop-in for 1:1 assistance with proofreading, using citations and other writing skills every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Waap Amgam (House of Cedar) RM #1006.

Peer-tutoring is up and running with tutors available to assist students in a variety of subjects including chemistry, biology and math. Interested? Contact LAS@coastmountaincollege.ca!

LAS & Advising Help

Having a hard time academically? We can connect you with the Learner Services team to make sure you have even more tools to complete your studies successfully.

One-on-one Brightspace Help — If navigating and using Brightspace is making your course more difficult to manage, let us help!

Our Learning Assistance Specialists (LAS) are available to walk you through the finer points of Brightspace so you can focus on your coursework.

Need tutoring? Check out TUTORME! A new, on-demand virtual service with access to over 1000+ tutors in 300+ subjects. Writing support is available as well. All CMTN students can access this service for two hours a week for free!

To contact the Learner Support Team & Accessibility Services for appointments, email las@coastmountaincollege.ca.

Financial Aid

Coast Mountain College offers an emergency funding program available to eligible students experiencing unexpected financial hardship during the course of their studies at CMTN. Find more information about emergency financial assistance HERE!

CMTN Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships!

Be sure to apply for any of the Awards, Bursaries, & Scholarships available to registered CMTN students. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2024! Contact the FNACs if you would like an application form or if you need assistance completing the application. We can be reached at FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca. Don't miss out on this great opportunity!


Have any financial aid questions or would like to know more about general awards, bursaries, and scholarships? Please contact the Financial Aid Officer, Allison Conway, at 250.635.6511 ext. 5204 or by email at financialaid@coastmountaincollege.ca or visit the Financial Aid webpage!

Student Engagement Activities:

If you have any event or activity ideas, please share with the SEO at your campus:

Mental Health Check-in

Are you looking for support? Here at CMTN, we can help you explore and find what support works best for you. Follow this LINK to find resources like regional counsellors, mobile apps, and crisis lines.

Look out for these cards on campus with this information to keep on hand!

Need support right now?

BC Suicide Line: 1.800.SUICIDE or 1.800.784.2433. If you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may, please call! Available 24/7.

Suicide Crises Helpline- Call 9-8-8 or text 9-8-8 a safe space to talk, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Be there.org
On behalf of the First Nations Access Coordinators, we welcome you to reach out any time!
Thank you for enjoying this issue of Volume 3: Hagwil yaan!

Stay connected and check out our FNAC Facebook group to keep your finger on the pulse!

Have something you want to contribute for next month's issue?

If you have any feedback, story ideas or pictures to share, please contact us:


Connection is Indigenous!