Today (Tuesday, May 13) marks School District 68’s first-ever Spuptitul Hul’qumi’num language competition.
The Spuptitul, which takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS), is being organized by the Aboriginal Sub Committee of the School District 68 (SD68) Multicultural and Race Relations Committee.
“We have learned much from Darlene and Claudia Sylvester who have been organizing Spuptituls in SD79 for 10 years,” the committee stated in a press release.
The event will host 20 six-player teams from School District 79, Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School, S-hXiXnu-tun Lelum School and SD68.
“We have been working quite hard this year to raise the profile of Hul’qumi’num in the school district,” said trustee Bill Robinson. “As the language comes in, we believe the culture will come in more strongly as well, and all the students will benefit from that.”
The Hul’qumi’num language competition will be judged by six First Nations Elders. The event will also offer soccer, basketball and lacrosse workshops, which will be run by basketball and soccer players from Vancouver Island University and Timbermen lacrosse players. Hul’qumi’num speakers will teach the players selected Hul’qumi’num words and phrases often used by players of each sport.
“We’re opening the doors to more Hul’qumi’num speakers,” said Mandy Jones, a member of the committee. “It’s showing how important our language is and the importance of reviving our language and showing how strong our children are becoming in speaking their language.
“It’s growing. I think that’s exciting and that shows more and more people are interested in the revival of Hul’qumi’num.”