With help from the Comox Valley Schools Song Keepers, students from two local elementary schools sang an Indigenous song that was nine years in the making during a ceremony at GP Vanier Secondary School on Friday.

It was commissioned by School District 71 and written by Indigenous singer/songwriter William Wasden Jr. from Alert Bay.

“When we talked about commissioning the song I talked to William back and forth about what we wanted to be in the song,” said Bruce Carlos, district principal, Indigenous Education, School District 71.

“We wanted to be sure we acknowledged K’omoks First Nation, that we acknowledged the environment we live in, the glacier, the ocean, the forest so he took that and that’s where he became inspired with the song that acknowledged that and that’s the words that we have in the song.”

“We have a very strong relationship with our K’omoks First Nations, our Indigenous Education Committee and our culture in our schools and this today is a really exciting event in our district,” said Board Chair Janice Caton. “To be gifted a song for our school district, for our students to use is amazing.”

“And what a great way to focus in on the school district where our children go to school,” said Chief Wedlidi Speck, a member of the Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, BC and head chief of the Gixsam namima (clan) of the Kwagul tribe.

“You know to be able to have a song that will invite them in in a meaningful way to the larger community is beautiful.”

You can listen to the song being sung by Wasden Jr. here.

Dean Stoltz