Thanks to Musqueam First Nation elders, Langara College has a new name.

Mayor Gregor Robertson and a group of local VIPs attended a ceremony on campus this afternoon, granting the post secondary institution its new aboriginal name: snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ (pronounced sno-WAY-ith LAY-lum) which means "house of teaching" in the Musqueam language.

"It reflects the relationship that we have with Musqueam and it reflects that relationship as a transition in learning," Langara President Lane Trotter told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

Trotter says it was important to have a Musqueam name because the school is located on what was once a Musqueam village.

And while the school has gained a Musqueam name, it is keeping its current name as well. Trotter says the two names will be used interchangeably.

"What we're looking for with this is making sure the duality we share is recognized," he said. "We are on Musqueam's unceded territory. We are Musqueam's college. We are Vancouver's college. And we need to reflect that."

Trotter says Langara has been looking for a new name for the past two years as a reconciliation effort. The elders selected the name, and this is the first time a B.C. First Nation has given an aboriginal name to a public post-secondary institution.

When asked about what the school planned to do to put reconciliation into action, Trotter said the next few months will see new investments in aboriginal education and services.


To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Langara's new Musqueam name means 'house of teaching'