Hagwil Yaan Student newsletter | December 2023

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 is Luut'aa (December) and we are happy to feature the sm'algyax language of the Nisga'a people! Hlaa maadim! (The winter season is here!) The weather is changing! K'il̓hl wilt ii sim saḵ ahl hloḵsa Luut'aa. (Sometimes the weather is very cold in December). We hope you are prepared for the Winter Season; we hear it's going to be a cold one! Bundle up, stay warm and reach out anytime. Ji t'ukw' n̓iin! (Make sure you wear your toque!)

We hope you are all doing well in your studies and that you have everything you need to have a successful term. Please 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
The Holiday Season is approaching the FNAC team wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday season! Please keep in mind any funding deadlines you might have, especially if you need to re-apply for the Winter Semester!

Highlights of Recent Events

Moccasin Making Sessions

We are having so much fun with everyone who joined us to make ts'aw̓aḵsa tx̱a (moccasins)! We're looking forward to seeing the finished products at the end of Gwilatkw (November). Take a look at these gwiix-sits'aw̓aḵsa-tx̱a (moccasin makers)!

Students from Terrace and Prince Rupert Campuses

Learn how to make a pair at home by watching these great tutorials by Trip Charbs:

Harvest Spotlight

Jag̱a-gilaal̓im̓ wil hadikshl w̓ii muus. We watched as a big moose swam across the river.

In Luut'aa, harvesting might be a little slower, but it certainly doesn't stop! A few of the things that the Nisga'a people and many more Northwestern nations harvest in maadim (winter) is:

  • ts'aḵ' Clams
  • g̱abooḵ Cockles
  • ḵ'almoos Crab
  • gals Mussels
  • milit Steelhead
  • t'una'ax̱ Cattails a.k.a. Indian Bananas
  • muus Moose
  • daawe Goat
  • ts'imilx/naaḵ'eeda/lisy̓een Beaver/Muskrat/Mink
  • w̓atsx̱/miksihl/w̓een Otter/Ermine/Fisher
  • gibuu/noosik'/hat' Wolf/Wolverine/Marten

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.

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

Holiday Social Cookie Decorating

  • Date: December 6, 2023
  • Time: 12:30p.m. - 3:30p.m.
  • Where:
  • Wil Lu Sagaytwan (Gathering place), Prince Rupert Campus
  • Waap Galts'ap (Community longhouse), Terrace Campus
  • Hazelton Campus
  • Gathering area, Smithers Campus

Join the FNAC team and local Elders with this holiday social and decorate cookies and ornaments to take home to enjoy with friends and family!

Let us know if you are joining to make enough cookie kits to FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca with your name/student number/campus location.

Holiday Wellness Spa Day

  • Date: December 13, 2023
  • Time: 11:00a.m. - 3:30p.m.
  • Where:
  • Wil Lu Sagaytwan (Gathering place), Prince Rupert Campus
  • Wii gyemsiga siwilaawksat (student housing), Terrace Campus
  • Hazelton Campus
  • Gathering space, Smithers Campus

Join the FNAC's for a relaxing afternoon before the Holiday Season starts!

We will have technicians on site to provide students no-cost services for a haircut and/or nail service. Light refreshments will be served.

Limited spaces for services please arrive on time to secure a spot for a service. If you have any questions, please contact FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca.

Chat with a FNAC

  • Date: December 14, 2023
  • Time: 3:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
  • Where: FNAC Campus Offices or via BlueJeans

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

Yak with Ye'e

Jeninehl way, my name is Jenine and I’m currently working with Sim' oogit Naaws (Ron Nyce) learning Nisga'a through a Mentor/Apprenticeship program. Ron and I have been working together for nearly three years actively bringing back our Language. Ron is an active member both in his community in the Nass Valley and Prince Rupert sharing his teachings. It is our honour to share a holiday greeting with the students at Coast Mountains College!

Luuta'a - December

Maadim - Winter

Maakws - snow

Gadim maakws- snowman

Sg̱waay̓tkw- to rest


Saḵhl lax̱ha- cold weather

Want to learn more? Check out First Voices for a Nisga'a dictionary along with many other languages! You can find words, phrases, stories, and songs - including this lovely translation of Silent Night in Nisga'a Sm'algyax!

Gawsugum axkw, anhluut’ukwsim axkw Silent Night, Holy Night

Gaks txaa nitkws, mmihlkw txaa nitkws All is calm, all is bright

Awa’ahl hlgutk’ihlkw gans noxt axtk’algatgwit ‘Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.

Amaa yukwdithl anhluut’ukwsim hlgutk’ihlkw Holy Infant so tender and mild.

Gaksim ts’im laxha wil luu-wokt Sleep in Heavenly peace.

Wok ahl ts’im gaksim ts’im laxha. Sleep in Heavenly peace.

Gawsugum axkw, anhluut’ukwsim axkw Silent Night, Holy Night

Ksax lihlksim, matxit anga’ahl Shepherds quake at the sight.

Wil at’aat’ikskw hli gadihl laxha Glories stream from heaven afar,

Sagayt limxdiit ahl aliiluuya. Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia;

Mahldiit wil aat’ikskw Christ Christ the Savior is born;

Mahldiit wil aat’ikskw Christ. Christ the Savior is born.

Eats with Jiits


  • 1 pint of jarred moose meat
  • 1 onion - diced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • splash of soya sauce
  • 1 cup of diced cabbage (optional)
  • 1 large bags of steam fried Farkay chow mein noodles

Put your jarred moose meat in a large pot and heat. Break up the meat and add onions, cabbage, salt, pepper, and soya sauce. Stirring occasionally until everything is heated and, and veggies are cooked.

Add chow mein noodles with a little water; put lid and steam. Stirring constantly until the chow mein noodles are soft. May need to add oil, water or soya sauce so it doesn't get too dry.

Recipe shared by S. K. Reviakin. Photo by Kellie Nyce, FNAC.

Activities for the Holidays

We hope that you will take the time to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy yourself during the holidays. Here is a Winter Bucket List filled with wonderful activities perfect for the area we live in. Please send us pictures of you taking part in any of the activities listed below. We would love to see them! Send to FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca.

Captured from Hirschfeld Homes

Your weekly meme!

Captured from Digital Smoke Signals

Indigenous Reads

Inside of Waap Galts'ap (Left) and Dr. Nancy Mackin, Architect (Right)

Have you been curious about traditional structures and ecological knowledge? Check out doctorate thesis "Nisga'a architecture and landscapes: ecological wisdom and community-led design" by Nancy Patricia Mackin. This thesis reconstructs spatial histories of the Nisga'a Nation to uncover how architecture and landscapes retain and adapt cultural, technological, and ecological wisdom of past generations. This research was completed with the respect and inclusion provided by Nisga'a elders who graciously shared stories and history.

Dr. Mackin was the lead architect who helped bring Waap Galts'ap (community house) - which resides on the Terrace Campus - to life. Nancy holds a Nisga'a name of Hla hii gum' hloḵs (Morning Sun) which was gifted to her by the gisḵ'aast (killer whale tribe). Through this thesis, she certainly exemplified what it means to decolonize research methods.

Available in the CMTN Library! Drop by your local campus library or check out the online selection through the CMTN website.

COVID-19: 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.

At Coast Mountain College, we monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely and are guided by the Provincial Health Officer as we work with the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. Updates will be shared as information becomes available. Please note removal of vaccinations requirements effective April 8, 2022 to access events and services and for post-secondary student housing.

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

Please be aware of the CMSU Health & Dental Plan that you are auto-enrolled into when you register for 6 or more unit courses in a semester.

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

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.

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!

Next General Awards Deadline: Feb 15, 2024

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

Student Engagement Activities: Smithers

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?

  • Youth Online Chat at crisis-centre.ca or text 250.564.8336 or call 1.888.564.8336. A confidential, anonymous peer support service operated by trained youth answering calls from other youth. Available 24/7.
  • KUU-US Crisis Line Help is just a phone call away. Call the toll-free number for Indigenous based support 25/7, 365: 1.800.588.8717
  • 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.
  • Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience. Call 1.866.925.4419.
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!