Hagwil Yaan Student newsletter | November 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. Ya’uc̓! (Hello) This month c̓úx̄ʷelisa (November), we are happy to feature X̄a'islak̓ala or X̌àh̓isl̩ak̓ala language of the Haisla people! The winter season is here! The weather is changing! 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. Time for Báqʷetuala (to wear a toque).

In the old times, x̄á’isla people measured time by watching a mountain across the bay from Kitamaat Village called gélw̓ anuxʷ (canoe mountain). By watching where the sun set behind the mountain, we were able to determine what time of year it was.

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

Highlights of Recent Events

Orange Shirt Day Contest Winner Announced!

We thank all of the artists who have sent in for our Orange Shirt Day Contest. It was a hard choice to only choose one! We are excited to announce that we have a new Orange Shirt design! We will have this design for CMTN for 2024-2027. We are very happy to announce our contest winner and the design!

Title: "They Tried to Bury Us. They Didn't Know We Were Seeds."

This piece is a tribute to the Indigenous children who never made it out of residential school but still brought their light and truth to the world. It also honours the Indigenous children who physically made it out and have fought daily to strengthen their spirits and regain their independence, families and culture. Children are said to be the flowers - Mijag̱alee - of our people (Language used is in Gitxsanimx). The seed was buried and grew into something beautiful. Salmon are an integral part of Indigenous life. The salmon egg "seed" in this design symbolizes the beginning of life, with a promise of abundance and nourishment, both physically and spiritually.

Artist: Frances Campbell

Artist Biography: Frances Campbell, Gitxsan Nation

Frances Campbell is a Gitxsan artist born and raised in Hazelton, B.C., in the community of Gitanmaax. She is a member of the Gisgaast (Fireweed) clan in the Wilp (House) of Gutgwinuuxs (Snowy Owl). Frances currently resides on the traditional territory of the T’s’msyen in the community of Kitsumkalum and has been a practicing artist since 2015.

Frances has a background in writing, illustration, graphic design and beading. In 2022, she started a Diploma program in First Nations Fine Art at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, where she won a student bursary and two awards. Her art practice is creative energy fuelled by culture, spiritual beliefs, strength, resilience and passion. She believes in life-long learning and adapting as an artist while staying true to her Gitxsan roots.

Harvest Spotlight - ’íxp̓a (good tasting) food

Captured from Google Images

As we welcome the colder fall weather in c̓úx̄ʷelisa (November), we get to enjoy traditional food we harvested or traded for in the spring and summer. Bakʷelán̓ex̄ʷ: (provisions, gathered and preserved food,)

  • ’á’ent herring eggs
  • miá salmonfish
  • ɫáq̓esg seaweed
  • záxʷen oolichan
  • ƛ̓áti oolichan grease
  • kʷʼaas mussels
  • mʼúmʼeḡʷezu halibut

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.

Chat with the FNACs

  • Date: November 16, 2023
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 P.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! Light refreshments will be available.

Questions or unable to make the session please email FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca

Moccasin Making Workshop

  • Dates: Every Wednesday in November
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Where:
  • Waap Galts'ap, Terrace Campus
  • Wil luu sagaytwan, Prince Rupert Campus
  • Hazelton Campus Classroom
  • Gathering Space, Smithers Campus
  • via Bluejeans if cannot attend on campus

Deadline to register has passed!

Please send your student number, campus location and send shoe size of moccasin you would like. Kits will be created with the size and accurate size is needed as material will be measured accordingly. All sessions are required to finish your moccasins on time.

Register by email to FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca.

What would Mama’u Say?

Mama'u lifts you up and sends prayers to Creator every day you are away for school. She greets the Grandfather sun and the Grandmother moon, shares how much she loves you and then shares her love with all around you.

Mama'u: grandmother

ya’uc̓: hello

’iks n̓áqʷa: good morning

’iks ḡánuɫ: good night

ɫaw̓ináinuxʷnugʷus: I love you

Want to learn more? Check out the Let's speak Haisla at https://haislakala.wordpress.com/ 

Words from Video:

Wis-uh-nees-gklee-la-seela Let's go to the store

Menesuituns kexh That's my brother

Me menesuituns kexh These are my brothers

Waqwa-uns kexh That's my sister

We waqwa un kexh These are my sisters

Heythla-cawens kexh That is my cousin

Gya wisems gyexh xwenuxhkins This boy is my child

Gya gahanum gyexh xwenuxhkins This girl is my child

Myalxhins gyada This is my friend

Heymas gya nuxw Our Chief

Lhawe-nay-nuxw kwinu goos I love you

Chow with Mamá’u

Ma'ma'o Nancy shares her us and how she preserves it! Photos captured from Northern Sentinel

Mamá’u loves to spoil you with traditional foods whenever you come home on a break from school! Just like all grandma's, she always has ice cream. But this Mamá’u Nancy Nyce has special ice cream - made from us (soapberries) and love!

The berries foam up when shaken and mixed in with water, and make a creamy texture when mixed with sugar and whipped.

“I never measure, so I can’t tell you my exact recipe,” Nyce said, but the process involves squishing the juice out of the berries and straining them, adding some water, and whipping it up.

Nyce said that once the berries’ foam has been whipped up to around 75 per cent volume, she slowly starts adding the sugar so it dissolves. Once it’s fully whipped, she then often adds some other fruits, such as bananas, strawberries, or raspberries to give it some more flavour.

“You have to be careful, though, how much [fruit] you add, because it takes away the volume, so it kills the foam,” Nyce said. “You can add fresh strawberries without any consequence, but if you add frozen strawberries that have the juice in it, then you’re in trouble, because it will deflate it.”

Read the full article on Mamá’u Nancy's interview HERE! Want more us content? Check out this great video with the step-by-step that Mamá’u is talking about!

Your weekly meme!

I am your father. No! website

Indigenous Reads

Photo from Amazon Canada

In The Sasquatch at Home, Robinson shares an intimate look into the intricacies of family, culture, and place. Robinson’s disarming honesty and wry irony shine through her depictions of the trip she and her mother took to Graceland, the potlatch where she and her sister received their Beaver Clan names, how her parents first met in Bella Bella (Waglisla, British Columbia), and a wilderness outing where she and her father try to get a look at b'gwus, the Sasquatch. Readers of memoir, Canadian literature, Indigenous history and culture, and fans of Robinson’s delightful, poignant, sometimes quirky tales will love The Sasquatch at Home.

Available in the CMTN Library. Drop by the Terrace Campus library or check with your local campus library. https://www.coastmountaincollege.ca/student-services/library

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

  • Nov 2 @12:00p.m. - 12:20p.m. - Meditation Session in Smithers and Prince Rupert Campuses
  • Nov 9 - Remembrance Day Foundation Event
  • Nov 12 @ 6:00p.m. - 10:00p.m. - Diwali Celebration
  • Nov 15 @ 12:00p.m. - 3:00p.m. - Career Fair @ Prince Rupert Campus

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

First Rent Supplements begin for youth from care in B.C.

Go to Government of BC Website for more information!

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!