The third story in our ongoing series about Halq’eméylem and the people working to save it
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Tana McNicol
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 | Today’s weather: ☀️ 2 C

Good Morning, Reader!

Next week will be my one-year anniversary with The Current. It truthfully does not feel like a year has gone by. I have learned and grown so much as a writer in the time I have been here. I'm always so grateful that I get to work with a supportive team and that I have an editor that cares enough to want to help me improve. My first week here is still very fresh in my mind. I started the morning that last year's flooding began. I'm sure it goes without saying my first day was nothing like I had anticipated. But Tyler and Grace (Hi Grace!) weren't shy about tagging me in while we all rode that metaphorical wave. If you have interesting or funny first-day-on-the-job stories, I would love to hear them!  

—Joti Grewal, reporter
The next generation of Halq'eméylem speakers
Sisters Karla and Dianna Kay are both enrolled in UFV's Halq'eméylem program, and seeking to better preserve their language for the next generation. 📸 Grace Kennedy

Dianna Kay has a small and secret desire: to hear the students at Seabird Island Community School speaking Halq'eméylem on the playground.

"My secret little dream is that when, for example, a substitute teacher comes into the classroom, our children are able to converse in the language. And the substitute teacher will be like ‘What’s going on?’" she said.

"That’s our big goal. We’re not there yet. But we’re working towards it."

Kay is doing her part to make that happen. As the language curriculum developer for Seabird Island Community School, she has gotten to see Halq'eméylem words be incorporated into day-to-day life at the K-12 school. Elementary classrooms are teaching numbers and the calendar in both English and Halq'eméylem, and all classes have their morning protocol in the endangered Indigenous language.

But in order to teach the kids, you need to have the teachers.

Today, new programs are building on decades-old academic foundations to train the next generation of Halq'eméylem speakers how best to share their language.

Need to know

🚔 A possible double-murder is under investigation in Chilliwack after two bodies were discovered Tuesday afternoon [Fraser Valley News Network]

👮🏻‍♂️ The police watchdog is investigating an incident in Abbotsford that left a man with serious injuries [Independent Investigations Office of BC]

💰 An Abbotsford man plans to pay off his mortgage after winning the lottery [Daily Hive]

🚨 A man who raped a child in Langley will be allowed back in the community after the parole board cancelled his suspension of a long-term supervision order [Vancouver Sun]

📬 A Mission family was surprised to receive disaster assistance in the mail one year after paying out of pocket for flood repairs [Mission Record]

🧪 The FVRD is hosting radon information sessions in Mission and Chilliwack later this month; Residents in Chilliwack, Hope, Kent, Harrison, Mission, and Cultus Lake can register for a free test kit [FVRD]

🧥 A Chilliwack woman is trying to find the owners of two gold rings she found inside her thrifted jacket [Chilliwack Progress]

🏅 Members of the Royal Canadian Airforce were recognized for their work in Agassiz during last November's floods [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

⛑ Small business owners and not-for-profits impacted by last year's floods have until Nov. 30 to apply for funding with the Red Cross [Red Cross]

🍔 A Langley charity event helped a California fast-food restaurant retain the 'double-double' trademark that is sought after by Tim Hortons [Langley Advance Times]

🏠 Chilliwack home prices are expected to drop even further next year, says the BC Real Estate Association [Chilliwack Progress]

Chilliwack council will consider whether to permit cold weather shelters at three sites that aren't zoned for that purpose. 📸 Google; Grace Giesbrecht


Three new cold weather shelters could open in Chilliwack if council signs off today.

The new facilities—including a temporary winter shelter, a daytime wellness centre, and an extreme weather response shelter—would serve people without homes in the downtown area as winter sets in.

But buildings already zoned for these services are hard—if not impossible—to come by, according to the two non-profits planning to operate them. The three facilities will require council to make exceptions to zoning bylaws so they can open at their proposed locations.

Ruth and Naomi’s Mission, a non-profit organization that already operates a homeless shelter, wants to convert a modular unit on the property at 4616 Margaret Ave., next to its existing space. The temporary shelter would provide overnight beds through the winter until March 31, 2023. Additionally, Ruth and Naomi’s has made an agreement with Cheamview United Church (45835 Spadina Ave.) and BC Housing to use the church’s hall for 25 extreme weather response shelter beds (which open when the area is particularly cold, wet, or snowy.) (We wrote about long-term plans for the historic church here.)

Neither property is zoned for the proposed usage, and Ruth and Naomi’s hopes council resolves to permit the usage due to the urgent need in the community.

A second non-profit, the Pacific Community Resources Society, wants to open a culturally safe and trauma-informed daytime wellness centre at 45951 Tretheway Ave. The centre would provide wraparound support for the community’s homeless population available when temporary shelters close during daylight hours. The building is the former home of the Chilliwack Times and is located across from a bottle depot.

The society has not found a suitable commercial space after an extensive search. It is asking the city to not enforce the zoning bylaw at the building so a centre can open there as soon as possible.

Worried about real estate? Tana can help!

Tana McNicol
Tana McNicol has been helping clients buy and sell real estate for the last 12 years, with a focus on integrity, knowledge, and expertise. She prides herself on communication and ensuring that her clients have a great experience, whether it’s in new construction, re-sale of a condo, townhome, or single family home.

These days, the real estate market is busy as it balances out in the Fraser Valley. Even though interest rates have been creeping up over the past few months, real estate prices are coming down, keeping the market active.

Visit for the latest listings, and contact her today to get started on finding your perfect home.
Each week we showcase a different photo from across the Valley and invite readers to share their best guess for where it was taken.

Any guesses as to where this week's Current Cam was taken? Reply back with your best guess—or with a picture we can use in a future edition.
UFV brings community to campus at its first Open House

University of the Fraser Valley
On October 22, the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) welcomed approximately 1,000 guests to its first-ever open house since becoming a university. The campus-wide event gave prospective students, parents, high school educators, and counselors a better understanding of UFV’s academic options and is set to reoccur next fall. 

Thinking about university next year? Explore what UFV has to offer.
Around town


🍽 The Hope & Area Volunteer Program is hosting an International Potluck today from 3 to 6pm at 895 3rd Ave., Unit D. Guests are invited to bring a favourite dish from their culture to share with others.

📝 Tonight at 7pm, educators Walter and Karen Loewen host a free seminar: Is your child struggling in school? No registration required. Event takes place at 46000 Fifth Ave. in Chilliwack. For more information email:


🎥 Abbotsford's The Reach Gallery Museum is hosting an afternoon of film and storytelling showcasing the talent of current and former incarcerated peoples on Saturday from 2:30 to 4:30pm. Learn more on the free event here.

🧵 Abbotsford Aerie #2726 is hosting a craft fair on Saturday from 10am to 4pm at its banquet hall. (33868 Essendene Ave.)

🐎 Backcountry Horsemen of BC Aldergrove Chapter is hosting a Tack Sale on Sunday from 9am to 1pm. More details online.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted in Around Town.
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