School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) was honoured to receive two Kwikwetlem First Nation flags for Como Lake Middle School and Cape Horn Elementary School during a virtual flag ceremony on January 27, 2021.
The flag ceremony was led by Kristina Joe, a former student of Principal Darren Stewart, who started the event by sharing fond memories of her time at school then asking a few individuals to be witnesses with honour blankets and coins. Some students from the Nation, namely Antonio Acosta-Joe, Grade 7 student from Como Lake Middle School and Joaquin Cunningham, Grade 3 student from Cape Horn Elementary School, were also asked to be witnesses to this momentous occasion.
Following the acknowledgement of the witnesses, Kristina introduced Chief Ed Hall and Kwikwetlem First Nation Councilor John Peters to unveil the flag and hold it for the blessing she would provide. This blessing was to ensure that all negative spirits had been cleansed from the flag. Cedar branches were used as the tool to remove this negative energy. Once the blessing was complete, the ceremony continued with Kristina and Zak Myers drumming and singing “The Cost Salish Anthem", by Chief Dan George.
It was a touching moment for the small group in attendance and when the music came to an end the flag was folded and offered to the principal at each school site. The flag at Como Lake Middle School now hangs in the front entrance staircase of the school and the flag at Cape Horn Elementary School hangs in the gym.
We'd also like to thank the following individuals from the Nation for attending and witnessing this flag ceremony.
- Ed Hall – Kwikwetlem First Nation Chief
- John Peters – Kwikwetlem First Nation Councilor
- Kristina Joe – Health Coordinator
- Nancy Joe – Culture Coordinator
- Derech Sill – Education, Training & Employment Manager's Assistant
- Zakary Myers – Education, Training & Employment Manager