Aam ji luu-x̱hln̓aa-t'aatgwin Student newsletter | June 21, 2020

Welcome to a very special issue of Aam ji luu-x̱hln̓aa-t'aatgwin: Virtual Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration!

Each week, we have brought a newsletter for you and your family to stay connected with, because Connection is Indigenous!

This month has been a real challenge for many people, witnessing the on-going injustice of police brutality toward marginalized people of colour. It has created space for reflection and addressing systemic racism that is apparent across the globe. It is more important than ever to be informed, uphold accountability, and amplify the voices of those often unheard. People all over the world are taking a stand and asking for change; with challenges come growth and with growth, there is hope.

It’s important to be proud of your connection to your culture, and respect the differences that exist between people. This month, we reflect on Indigenous history and celebrate our collective resiliency. First Nations Access Coordinators (FNACs) have connected with local elders and knowledge keepers to bring you videos that may inspire you to continue learning and practicing different aspects of culture and wellness.

We hope you find something to connect with and that you do things this week that make you feel balanced in your mind, body, spirit, and soul.

The FNACs wish you well in your studies and personally. Please feel free to call on any of us by email or phone to let us know if you are having any issues or concerns with your distance learning. We are here to provide you support in any we can. Work hard and don’t forget to take time to enjoy the outdoors! Continue to physically distance and stay safe.

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

Jillian Stephens, Terrace jstephens@coastmountaincollege.ca

Veronica Waechter, Terrace vwaechter@coastmountaincollege.ca

Sharon Oskey, Prince Rupert soskey@coastmountaincollege.ca

Kellie Nyce, Hazelton knyce@coastmountaincollege.ca

Katie Humphrey, Smithers khumphrey@coastmountaincollege.ca

Left to right: Veronica Waechter, Jillian Stephens, Kellie Nyce, Katie Humphrey & Sharon Oskey

Yakking with Ye'e

Check out one of our language spotlights with Sim'oogit Gil Seen Ron Nyce speaking the Nisga'a language.

First Nations Access Coordinator, Sharon Oskey, had a physically distant visit with Sim’oogit Gil Seen Ron Nyce, and he left a nice message for the students. T'ooyaḵsiym n̓isim Ron and Sharon, we are thankful for the thoughts and words!

Practice your language at home and with loved ones! Below are some of the phrases that Sim’oogit Gil Seen spoke in his video.

T'ooyaḵsiym n̓isim Thank You All

Aama Hiihlukw Good Morning

Luu’aamhl Goodiy’ I am Happy

Ji siix-mukws n̓iin Listen very carefully

Sk’an Algax̱ To Say Hurtful Things About Others

Si’aamhl Wilin Be Steadfast, Continue to do your Great Work

Kwhlix̱oosa’anskw To have and show Respect

Sim’oogit Laxha Chief of the Sky

Dolly's Language Lessons

Dolly Alfred from the Wet'suwet'en Nation shares her language in our next language spotlight!

Yink’atdanee ho..ndiyh’ habadzeen Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

T'ooyaḵsiy̓ n̓iin Dolly for sharing these special words with us! We challenge you to practice these words at home. Find more of her language lessons here.

You can find more Nisga'a, Wet'suwet'en, and many more languages to practice at firstvoices.com.

Seasoned with Love: Ts'iits' Recipes

Learn how to make baking powder biscuits with First Nations Access Coordinator, Kellie Nyce.

Kellie Nyce and her grandson Ryder West bake up some yummy biscuit bread. T'ooyaḵsiy̓ n̓iin to Doreen Angus for sharing the recipe. Try it at home.

Activities for the Soul

Virtual Braid Circle with Emily Bryant

T'ooyaḵsiy̓ n̓iin to Emily Bryant for sharing her techniques and knowledge of both braiding and the sacredness of hair. Take your time with these teachings and practice on your own hair.

Medicine Harvest

Harvest and process arnica flowers like Katie Humphrey, First Nations Access Coordinator.

Katie Humphrey has been out and about these past couple of weeks picking the medicinal plant arnica cordifolia or simply arnica.

Arnica is used topically for a wide range of conditions, including bruising, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing and more. T'ooyaḵsiy̓ n̓iin Katie for sharing your knowledge and Lori Knorr, Educational Advisor, for helping Katie produce this video.

We are planning an Arnica Salve Workshop in August. Stay tuned!

How to Make a Healing Salve

The skin is one of the ways through which the body can receive the healing action of plants. Here are the materials and equipment you will need:

  • 1 Cup of Oil (organic coconut, almond, grapeseed, or olive)
  • Equal part wilted or dried herbs
  • 1-2 oz (1/4 cup) beeswax (this measurement will be adjusted to suit how solid you like your salve)
  • Cheesecloth for straining
  • 1 tbsp Vitamin E (optional)
  • 50ml jars to store salve in (preferably dark glass)
  • 10-30 drops Essential Oils (optional)
  • Double Boiler or Crock pot (never use aluminum)
  • Large measuring cup for pouring hot salve; small one for beeswax
  • Measuring spoon
  • Strainer or large funnel
  • Sharp knife to cut beeswax
  • Cutting Board
  • Toothpicks or skewer to mix in essential oil
  • Wooden stirring spoon
  1. After collecting the flowers in a paper bag, allow them to wilt overnight. This will take out some of the moisture that can cause the salve to go rancid.
  2. The next day, before the flowers have turned into bits of fluff, put them into a glass jar, leaving 5 cm from the top of the jar to allow for expansion. Do not tightly pack.
  3. Pour the organic olive oil over the flowers. The oil can cover the flowers by 5 cms but they tend to float.
  4. Ideally the infusion should sit in a warm place for the course of a moon cycle (full moon to full moon) but it is not always possible to get that timing. Allow to infuse for at least two weeks.
  5. Stir the infusion every day. If mold begins to form stain immediately. I use a chopstick to poke the flowers around as I like to avoid the use of metal with my infusions. (If using the crock pot method, heat on low for a few hours. No boiling!)

Learn the next steps in August in our salve making workshop.

Arnica Flowers and Katie's sweet son, Hunter

Check out Indigenous reads.

FREE book! As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. Available through the CMTN Library.

How to build Indigenous resistance movements that refuse the destructive thinking of settler colonialism.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson locates Indigenous political resurgence as a practice rooted in uniquely Indigenous theorizing, writing, organizing, and thinking. She makes clear that the goal of Indigenous resistance can no longer be cultural resurgence as a mechanism for inclusion in a multicultural mosaic, calling for unapologetic, place-based Indigenous alternatives to the destructive logics of the settler colonial state.

Your weekly meme

Meme captured from @decolonial.meme.queens on Instagram. Give this page a follow and remember to rock your favourite earrings this week!

Self-Care is Essential

Check out Revolutionary Self-Care on Facebook. It's a great resource for community building and peer support.

Image captured from Revolutionary Self-Care on Facebook

Wellness Gift for Students

Open to registered and returning students.

Photo credit: Nass Valley Wild Medicine

Email any First Nations Access Coordinator with your name and address to receive a free wellness gift by mail. Find our emails above or below in this newsletter.

CMTN President's Message to Students

Justin Kohlman, President at Coast Mountain College, provides an update to our students. CMTN's courses and programs are offered via Distributed Learning in Fall 2020 and are open for registration on June 1. Feel free to contact a FNAC if you require assistance with registering for your courses. We can also assist you with renewing your Adult Upgrading Grant for the Fall 2020 semester.

Please also see Justin Kohlman's statement on racism here.

Student support

Are you facing challenges with lack of equipment or support? Contact your local FNAC and ask about the Indigenous Wellness Assistance Fund and the Lending Library.

Mental Health Check-in

Check out this article on Self-care during COVID-19.

Foundry BC is now offering virtual drop-in counselling for young people ages 12-24 and their families. To access this service, call 1-833-FØUNDRY (yes, that’s FØUNDRY with a zero! or 1-833-308-6379) to book an appointment. Sessions available through chat, voice-only calls or video calls.

Here2Talk connects students with mental health support when they need it. Through this program, all students currently registered in a B.C. post-secondary institution have access to FREE, confidential counselling and community referral services, conveniently available 24/7 via app, phone and web.

The Keep Me Safe program is available 24/7 through multiple formats (call, chat, email and videoconference) for you! Go to coastmountaincollege.ca/counselling for more info.

Other resources you can reach out to:

Youth Online Chat at crisis-centre.ca or text 250.564.8336 or call 1.888.564.8336. A confidential, anonymous peer support service operated by trained youth answering calls from other youth. Available 24/7.

Northern BC Crisis Line A safe, confidential and non-judgmental crisis line to discuss anything troubling you available 24/7. Call 1.888.562.1214.

BC Suicide Line 1.800.SUICIDE or 1.800.784.2433. If you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may, please call! Available 24/7.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience. Call 1.866.925.4419.

COVID-19 updates & FAQs

At Coast Mountain College we monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely and are guided by the Provincial Health Officer as we work with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. For updates and FAQs please visit our website here.

Visit canada.ca/coronavirus for more information.

Have something you want to contribute for next month's issue?

Feedback, story ideas or pictures to share? Contact us:






CMTN First Nations Access Coordinators would like to say T'ooyaḵsiy̓ n̓iin to First Nations Health Authority for sponsoring this newsletter and supporting our initiatives to be there for you.

Image sourced: FNHA.ca

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