Chelsea Walkus

Haíɫzaqvḷa Teacher

“λ’aɫbaxƛnugva. Gáyáqḷánugva la tx̌s W̓úyalitx̌v du Y̓ísdáitx̌v ginugva h̓uá gáyáqḷa Suə́mx̌ulh du Núxvənc w̓úgvaqa. Haíɫzaqvqṃ́nugva ginugva h̓uá W̓uík̓inux̌vṃxa. M̓ám̓ensǧemuyakas’um̓ənsǧəmqialisxƛa qs h̓búkva gi h̓uá N̓úlús Húy̓atxƛa h̓búkasguɫa qs h̓búkva gi h̓uá Hàilhamasxƛa h̓úṃpasguɫa qs h̓búkva du h̓íxsmiɫxƛa qs h̓úṃpa gi h̓uá Agnesxƛa h̓búkas qs h̓úṃpa gi h̓uá Alvinxƛa h̓úṃpasguɫa qs h̓úṃpa.

Yíláqvaƛṇugva la q̓vṃ́xsiwakala

My english name is Chelsea Walkus. I come from the W̓úyalitx̌v – Seaward Tribe and Y̓ísdáitx̌v – people of Y̓ísda and I come from Suə́mx̌ulh and Núxvənc also. I am Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv as well. The english name of my mother is Susan Brown (nee Walkus) and Dorothy Walkus (nee Windsor) is the late mother of my mother and Danni Walkus is the late father of my mother. James is the name of my father, and Agnes is the mother of my father, and Alvin is the late father of my father.”

Chelsea’s language journey began in September 2020 as a student of the Urban Haíɫzaqvḷa Language class. This later developed into a part time position when she applied for the Teaching Assistant for Ben Chung. Ben displayed great teaching methods with a linguistic background. This served as an inspiration for Chelsea to further build on her language learning.

Chelsea applied for the 900hour Haíɫzaqvḷa Language Immersion Certificate Program through Simon Fraser University (SFU) and was accepted as a student. With the help of her family, she relocated to Bella Bella to further build on her language comprehension in September 2021. That November, Chelsea was promoted to the Technical Support Worker for the Language Instructors in addition to the immersion program. She successfully graduated alongside 11 other students as part of the second cohort of Language Learners. In September of 2022 she began the 980hour Haíɫzaqvḷa Language Immersion Diploma. In November of 2022 Chelsea’s tittle changed to a Teacher Aide.

Chelsea holds the deepest appreciation for her language family/classmates and her instructors, Brett Housty and Rory Housty for passing on their language knowledge. She feels an immense joy and gratitude for the elders who join the class daily to offer their teachings Shirley Windsor, Stella Humchitt, Gloria and Gilbert Jackson, Elizabeth Brown, Marina Humchitt, Margaret Brown, and Larene Chamberlain.

Although Chelsea started structured language learning in 2020, her language journey has been life long. She was mentored under h̓ṇís’us Nùw̓aqawaguɫa (her late aunt Evelyn Windsor nee Walkus) from birth. Evelyn was instrumental in Haíɫzaqvḷa language revitalization and received a Doctorate through SFU for her life’s long work. Language was only a portion of the mentorship Chelsea received from her aunt Evelyn. She spent many days and nights with Evelyn listening to stories of the land and culture, and guidance on life lesson. Other lessons include but are not limited to are songs, dances, harvesting and preparation of medicines, food harvest and seasonal preparation.

Chelsea is working hard to integrate language into her everyday life style, and is grateful for the opportunity to re-learn her ancestral language.

dhídhuw̓elstua – replacing the old ones; we will be walking in their shoes; we are their replacement.

A treasured teaching from Nùw̓aqawaguɫa (late Evelyn Windsor nee Walkus)


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