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TlaAmin celebrates student success

Community honours educational achievements
Kyle Wells

  VIDEO    – Students, educators, administrators, parents, community members and others gathered on Friday, April 8 in Tla’Amin (Sliammon) First Nation to honour student accomplishments at the first ever Celebration of Success Night.

The event gave the community chance to honour and celebrate the achievements of students and to offer messages of encouragement. Over 40 students from kindergarten to grade 12 were honoured for their successes in academics, work habits and attendance. Beyond grade three, all students who earned an A or B grade in math, language arts, social studies or science received an award. In the grades below three, any students who achieved high ratings for social responsibility were honoured.

All of the children receiving awards were invited along with their families to come to the event. Many community elders and notable public figures attended, including Chief Clint Williams who emceed the event, to support the students and offer words of wisdom. Booths by local and out-of-town educational organizations promoted further learning opportunities, everything from StrongStart Early Learning to the University of Victoria (UVIC) nursing program.

“I think it’s really important for families and parents and community to see the good that is coming from the children and from the schools,” said School District 47 co-ordinator of First Nations programs-elementary Gail Blaney. “I wanted the families here to pat the kids on the back and just raise them up and give them a little bit of pride in what they’re doing.”

After a warm welcome from elder Dr. Elsie Paul, guests were treated to a prayer song from the primary school children and music from James Thomson Elementary School choir. Educators joined in by performing a skit about Mink and Cloud before guest speakers spoke to the students about the importance of education and offered guidance in their academic careers.

An emotional Lia Galligos spoke to the crowd of her appreciation for the opportunity she has had to go back to school to study nursing at UVIC. Galligos, a young mother, received sponsorship from the community which allowed her to pursue her studies. She acknowledged her family and the community and told the students that it’s not always easy but that anybody can do it and it’s never too late.

Elder Eugene Louie, the first First Nations student to graduate from the Powell River public school system, spoke to the youth of the importance of education and to the community of the importance of being able to help financially. Louie told the crowd how he was offered work in Powell River straight out of high school but decided to go work for the Tla’Amin community instead, a decision he hopes some of the youth decide to make after earning an education.

“I think we’ve set a standard here and I challenge all the youth to go out and get your education,” said Louie, “Hopefully some of you may come back to serve and help our community to a higher level.”

Award winners:

Oceanview Secondary School

Harry, Brody: math, social studies, English, science

Louie, Tyra: Sliammon language, social studies

Noble, Rae-Dene: Sliammon, math, social studies, English, science, work habits

Wilson, Hayley: top attendance, Sliammon language


Brooks Secondary School

Carta, Renato: social studies, English

Charlie, Angus: top attendance

Galligos, Carmen: science

Harry, Beth: science

Harry, Cody: math

Harry, Zoe: Sliammon, math, English

Hillis, Mariah: science

Hillis, Shania: Sliammon language, social studies

Mahy, Trent: social studies

Mitchell, Megan: science

Pielle, Ryan: Sliammon language

Point, Lucas: science

Point, Zack: top attendance

Smith, Caitlyn: work habits

Timothy-McGee, Sadie: social studies

Wilson, Tarin: science

Intermediate, James Thomson Elementary School

Adams, Gabriella: social studies, science, Sliammon language

Blaney, Kaylei: social studies, science, Sliammon language

Cole, Keden: language arts, math

Dominic, Cheyenne: social studies, math

Gallagher, Jacob: science

Galligos, Cara: social studies

Galligos, Jara: social studies, math, work habits

Galligos, Jordan: math, science

Galligos, Miya: work habits, social studies, math, science

George, Layla: top Sliammon language, math, social studies, science, language arts

Hackett, CJ: science

Harry, Annika: social studies, language arts, math, science, Sliammon language

Harry, Callie: work habits, social studies, math, science

Louie, Erica: math, language arts, science, Sliammon language

Paul, Kirsten: work habits, social studies, science, Sliammon language

Timothy-McGee, Sharlene: math, language arts, social studies, Sliammon language

Washington, Alana: social studies, language arts, science, Sliammon language

Wilson, Jeanine: math, best attendance intermediate

Louie, Rebecca: math

Intermediate, Assumption School

Louie, Benson: top attendance intermediate

Wilson, Tiffany:top attendance middle school

Harry, Susan: social studies, language arts, science

Primary, James Thomson Elementary School

Galligos, Cedar: top work habits

Gustafson, Dakota: social responsibility, work habits, Sliammon language

Hackett, Richard: top attendance primary (tie)

Harry, Dion: social responsibility

Louie, Alyssa: work habits

Mitchell, Elizabeth: work habits

Tom, Lylee: work habits

Washington, Alexa: top attendance primary (tie)

Primary Assumption School

Gustafson-Boyd, Jasmine: social responsibility

Louie, Braedyn: social responsibility

Louie, Bronson: top attendance intermediate