New Langford high school receives First Nations name

New Langford high school receives First Nations name
The Eagle Ridge Community Centre is shown.

The Sooke School District (SD62) is celebrating the naming of a new school in Langford.

The school, which opened in January inside the Eagle Ridge Community Centre, was temporarily named “Eagle Ridge Secondary School.”

It has now received its formal name, QELEṈSEN Á, LEṈ, which was created by the Sc’ianew Nation, the closest First Nation to the school.

The name – pronounced K-wuh-Lun-Sun, Eh Lun – means “Eagle House” in SENĆOŦEN, with QELEṈSEN meaning “eagle” and “Á, LEṈ” meaning house, or school in this context.

The name is intended to evoke resilience, grace and a powerful spirit, which are symbolized by the eagle.

The name was chosen by Elders of the Sc’ianew Nation in November, and was unanimously approved by the Sooke School District on Nov. 21.

“By accepting a gifted Indigenous name for the school, we have an opportunity to contribute to the preservation, revitalization and the strengthening of local history, language and culture,” said SD62 board chair Amanda Dowhy in a release Tuesday.

“As part of walking the path of reconciliation, the Board of Education is committed to embodying a sense of belonging in our schools and honouring the Indigenous peoples that have called these lands home since time immemorial,” she said.

The new school opened with an eye towards students who are participating in high performance athletics or arts programs.

With a new school name now selected, students and staff have been tasked with creating a new logo for QELEṈSEN Á, LEṈ, which the school district hopes to have ready by the end of the school year.


Local Elders Shirley Alphonse (left) and Lavina Charles (right) who helped select the new school name are shown. (Jon Carr, SD62)

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