The newest school in New Westminster is École Qayqayt Elementary School. Qayqayt refers to the Qayqayt First Nation, the only registered First Nation in Canada without a land base.
On February 23, 2016 the New Westminster School Board approved a policy to acknowledge the traditional territory of the Qayqayt First Nation, making this the typical first item on the agenda for School Board meetings:
The New Westminster School District recognizes and acknowledges the Qayqayt First Nation, as well as all Coast Salish peoples, on whose traditional and unceded territories we live, we learn, we play and we do our work.
That’s outstanding and commendable. It’s beyond time that we acknowledge that the lands we live and work and play on were not ceded to us by the First Nations people. It’s a time of newfound respect for those who lived and worked the land before Europeans initially settled our area.
So that’s why I really don’t like it when people shorten Qayqayt to QQ. Groups that should really know better, like the Qayqayt Parent Advisory Community, whose website is “qqpac.ca” and Twitter handle is @2QQPAC. Seriously, “qayqaytpac.ca” and “QayqaytPAC” are still available!
I’ve heard from one Qayqayt parent that they shorten it because Qayqayt is difficult to spell. Hey now, that’s a pile of hot mess. Take the five seconds to learn Q-A-Y-Q-A-Y-T. Seriously, it is the very least you could do.
It’s high time for everybody to show a little respect to the Qayqayt First Nation and stop shortening Qayqayt to QQ.