Hagwil Yaan Student newsletter | January 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 language of the Witsuwit'en people!

Welcome to all new and returning students to the 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. 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 FNAC's welcome students for the Winter 2024 Semester and wish all students a Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed some rejuvenating time away with friends and family. Have a great winter semester and reach out anytime.

Highlights of Recent Events

Holiday Social Cookie Decorating

On December 6, 2023, we were so happy to host Simoogit Algumxhaa (Murray Smith) & his lovely wife, Louisa Smith, from Prince Rupert; Litamlaxdau Gibau (Sharon Bryant), Lloyd & Sherry McDames, and Norm & Charlene Stephens from Terrace; and Marilyn Hooper from Smithers. We joined along with students from each campus to decorate cookies and ornaments. It was not just about creating sweet treats but also the joy of being together sharing stories of Christmas, laughs and songs. Listening to the Elders sing Christmas songs in their beautiful Sm'algyax language was truly special and heartwarming. As you can see, we had some very beautiful imaginative designs.

Cookie Making!
Festive Moment from the Smithers Campus!

Holiday Wellness & Spa Day

Our recent Holiday Wellness & Spa Day event on December 13, 2023 for students was a tremendous success. The students at each campus had a tasty meal, had their hair cut and/or their nails done by local hairdressers and nail technicians. The students spent time with Elders who brought an invaluable sense of connection and joy. We hope that this event contributed significantly to wellness and overall happiness before the holidays. We really enjoyed getting together with students.

Wellness in Action!
Holiday Mural at the Smithers Campus

Harvest Spotlight

Lhiyil on the move!

In the Khït (winter) harvesting might be a little slower, but it certainly doesn't stop! A few of the things that the Witsuwit'en people and many more Northwestern nations harvest are:

  • c'itsit Grouse
  • gibok Clams
  • k'ilmos Crab
  • tësdlï Steelhead
  • hida Moose
  • lhiyil Mountain goat
  • tsa Beaver
  • ts'ant'iy Otter/Ermine/Fisher
  • yis Wolf
FNAC Katie's favorite is moose burger nachos!

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 a FNAC

  • Date: January 11, 2024
  • 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

Walking for Wellness Journey

What is your favorite Winter Wellness Activity? FNAC Katie enjoys walking for Wellness! With that, we are happy to announce a Walking for Wellness Activity!

Journey Starts: January 22, 2024

Join the FNAC's in this amazing walking for wellness journey. We are looking for participants to put on their walking shoes and virtually walk with us from the Prince Rupert Campus to the Smithers Campus. Participants will log steps each week by Friday.

Great prizes to be won! Connect with us to learn more and to sign up: FNAC@coastmountaincollege.ca

Chew with Tsets yu

Seafood Chowder

  • 8 cups of fish stock or water
  • 1/2 cup bacon fat or butter or 1 tbsp bacon fat with 1/2 olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 lb. fresh clams
  • 1/3lb. cubed red snapper
  • 1/3lb. cubed wild pacific salmon
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan on high heat, bring stock to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. In a large heavy soup pot on medium high, melt bacon fat or butter. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf, and saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and simmer until reduced by half. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Slowly add hot stock. Bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, carrots and bell peppers and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add clams, salmon and red snapper. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until fish is cooked through and tender. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in just enough cream to turn chowder white. Stir in fresh dill and parsely just before serving.

Recipe from the Modern Native Feasts book by Andrew George, Jr., Skit'den (traditional hereditary wing chief of the Witsuwit'en people.)

Lidï ïnziz with Tso'

Witsuwit'en Wilhtatdzïn

Lidï ïnziz - drinking tea

Tso' (grandmother) loves to sit around the table and drink tea. She loves it even more when you tell her about how school is going. Who is your favorite person to share tea with? Send us a picture of you and your favorite tea person for your opportunity to win a CMTN swag item!

Check out Witsuwit'en Wilhtatdzïn on Facebook. A fun way of learning Witsuwit’en! Started in 2017 by Indigenous educator Dolores Alfred!

Your weekly meme!

Edmonton-based Dene artist part of Canada's 'meme explosion' Nigel Henri Robinson uses memes to celebrate Indigenous perspectives

Indigenous Reads

Witsuwiten Hibikinic Dictionary

‘A historic day’: Northwest B.C. First Nation creates dictionary to save Witsuwit’en language.

As a result of colonization and forced assimilation, multiple Indigenous languages in the country are on the verge of extinction.

The Witsuwit’en Language & Culture Society is one group fighting to preserve their language. On June 17 the society launched the Official Witsuwit’en-English Dictionary with a clear goal in mind: increase the number of people fluent in Witsuwit’en, Lucy Gagnon told Black Press Media.

“We have about three per cent of our nation that are fluent speakers. That adds up to about around 100 speakers, and for a nation of about 3,500, that’s very, very sad. So that’s been our goal, and the dictionary is one piece of the puzzle.

Read the full story here and link to the Witsuwit'en-English Dictionary here!

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

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 6 or more unit courses in a semester.

The deadline will be 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!

Please be sure to apply for upcoming CMTN Awards, Bursaries & Scholarships!

Please feel free to call on FNACs if you need assistance filling out the General Awards application form. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity!
Financial Aid Seminars

Have any financial aid questions or would like to know more about general awards, bursaries, and scholarships? Please check out the Financial Aid Seminars with the Financial Aid Officer, Allison Conway on January 16, 23 & 30, 2024. She can be also reached at 250.635.6511 ext. 5204 or by email at 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?

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!