Word of the week: learn to say kwékwa7 (“grandmother”)

Two years ago, I had the chance to speak with Skícza7ul Heather Joseph, of the N’Quatqua Nation, who is the language teacher at Signal Hill Elementary, about her remarkable work introducing the students, of all cultures, to Ucwalmícwts, the language of the people, of this land. She introduced me to this word, kwékwa7, as she looped Veronica Bikadi, her grandmother and mentor, into the conversation. I loved this reality – that grandmother was such a word of endearment and honour, and that the role her grandmothers are playing in her work, in her life, is essential.

Photo by Natalie Langmann, of Skícza7ul Heather Joseph with her kwékwa7, Veronica Bikadi, teaching kindergarteners Ucwalmícwts.

You can learn these words on the First Voices website, or download the app to your phone.

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