The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district has decided on a new name for the new elementary school in Albion on 104th Avenue, set to open a year from now.
The school will be named c̓əsqənelə elementary, or c’usqunela elementary, in recognition of the First Nations history of the area, the school district said Wednesday on its website.
“Given the passionate feedback we received calling for a school name that recognizes and celebrates the First Nations history in this area, we requested that the Kwantlen and Katzie elders undertake a process to select a … name for the school,” said Supt. Sylvia Russell.
Fern Gabriel, a language and cultural teacher for Kwantlen First Nation, suggested the name c̓əsqənelə – which means “Where the golden eagles gather.” The word is written in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
However, an optional spelling that’s compatible with most keyboards is c’usqunela elementary.
That alternate spelling c’usqunela, “may also be used in some instances,” said the school district.
“I thank the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District for the decision for the name to be in the traditional language dialects that both Katzie and Kwantlen share with Musqueam, Tsawwassen, Semiahmoo and Kwikwetlem First Nations,” said Cheryl Gabriel, Kwantlen First Nation education coordinator.