Hwul’hwulenuhwtnaat’ (Dolly Sylvester) has been named the first ever District Elder for School District 79. (submitted)

Cowichan school district names first ever District Elder

“This is a historic time for our district and the province”

The Cowichan Valley School District Board of Education officially created the position of District Elder/Knowledge Keeper, a first in the province, and are proud to announce Hwul’hwulenuhwtnaat’ (Dolly Sylvester) as the first holder of that position.

The District Elder/Knowledge Keeper is a position of honour within the district and will play a pivotal role in continuing to shape the district’s relationships with nations throughout the Valley, as well as being a conduit for elders throughout the community. The position will continue to bring indigenous perspectives and knowledge to the school community and will assist with ceremonial and cultural events.

Hwul’hwulenuhwtnaat’ has been an important member of the school community, and the community at large for years, and is a highly respected elder, educator, mentor, and friend to many.

“This is a historic time for our district and the province,” said Candace Spilsbury, chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District. “The District Elder/Knowledge Keeper will play an incredibly important role in guiding our district on the road to reconciliation. Hwul’hwulenuhwtnaat’ has unofficially held this role for many years and it is our pleasure to recognize her commitment to our community and value to our district through this formalized role.”

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