Ravi Parmar (Photo courtesy of SD62)

Ravi Parmar (Photo courtesy of SD62)

LETTERS: SD62 connecting schools to the land

While we dug shovels into the crushed rock to mark the official groundbreaking for our two new schools in West Langford, the overarching meaning for the event was the blessing of the land. Sooke School District is rich in local cultural history and, in the last decade, that includes land blessings for all of our new schools. We are honoured to have T’Sou-ke elder Shirley Alphonse bless the land in which we are so fortunate to build the schools.

Pexsisen Elementary and Centre Mountain Lellum Middle schools will serve a lot of families. We know the area of West Langford is filled with kids and we’re pleased that these schools will be surrounded by the communities in which they serve. Schools act as hubs and meeting places. They are focal points of community services, community activities and even, community life. The schools will be filled with children during the day, community meetings at night and outdoor activities on the weekends.

Pexsisen Elementary will have a neighbourhood learning centre attached to it. This is a space that other groups will occupy, offering services to the community at large. Pexsisen Elementary is also going to have childcare space. Imagine being able to drop off your one-year-old and your kindergartener at the same location? Families with young children know how special and rare this is.

These schools are inherently tied to the land. Centre Mountain is the result of a treaty settlement between Sc’ianew, Metchosin and Langford, as well as provincial and federal governments. Deepening the schools’ roots, the word Lellum was gifted to us by the Sc’ianew Nation and carries the meaning of house, the idea of community and where we raise our children. In the Lkwungen and Sencoten language, Pexsisen means “the opening of hands” or “to have one’s hands wide open.” This word, gifted to us by Songhees First Nation, is a perfect description of what these schools will represent. They will be welcoming for all.

The board of education and everyone in the Sooke School District is very much looking forward to welcoming students, families, staff and our community to these new schools when they open in September of 2022. The connection our schools make with the land and the communities is a legacy we are making today that will be carried on for generations.

Ravi Parmar, board chair

On behalf of SD62 Board of Education

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

Westcoast Impressions plans to organize a COVID-19 friendly version of the event in 2021 at the Mary Winspear Centre after having cancelled the 2020 version against the backdrop of pandemic. The opening night of the 2019 Sidney Street Market featured more than 150 vendors lined along Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney Street Market plans for 2021 return at Mary Winspear Centre

Tentative plan calls for the event’s return to Beacon Avenue after COVID-19 pandemic

An aerial view over Oak Bay. (Black Press Media File Photo)
An aerial view over Oak Bay and the Marina. Oak Bay residents pay the highest taxes on Vancouver Island. Don Denton/Black Press
Oak Bay secondary suites study considers units old and new

Secondary suites draft report due in new year

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read