Welcome to Witsuwit’en territory! The Witsuwit’en have lived in this vast and bountiful river valley for thousands of years. Witsuwit’en ancestors knew this great watershed as “Widzin Kwah” (the name refers to a body of water larger than a stream, now known as the Bulkley River). The name Witsuwit’en is believed to mean “the people of the lower drainage” and the name of the valley in which Smithers is located is “D’ze Kant,” which means “foot of the mountain.” This area has only been known as the Bulkley Valley in recent history: about 150 years. The story of this beautiful valley is much older, spanning the thousands of generations that it was inhabited by “Niwhts’ide’nï,” the Witsuwit’en ancestors. Since time immemorial, this place has been called “yin tah,” a Witsuwit’en expression meaning “earth” or “land,” but more specifically “territory.”
School District No. 54 (Bulkley Valley) is located entirely on the territory of the Witsuwit’en Nation. This valley includes many Witsuwit’en communities:
Witset – formally Moricetown
Wet’suwe’ten First Nation – formally Broman Lake
Nee-Tahi-Buhn – on the South side
Skin Tyee – on the South side
Baptiste Reserve – near Smithers
The Indigenous Education program provides a wide array of resources and opportunities to enhance the learning opportunities for all learners but specifically Indigenous learners - First Nations, Metis and Inuit. The Indigenous Education staff, together with the families, community, and classroom teachers, respond to the unique educational needs of the Indigenous students in the school district. The Bulkley Valley’s Indigenous Education Enhancement Agreement provides the goals, strategies and structures as a framework for the success of our students.