Cecilia DeRose

Language: Secwepemctsín
Williams Lake , Cecilia DeRose,.jpg

In spite of attending residential school as a child where speaking her language was discouraged, Cecilia maintained her language.

She worked in all areas of the kindergarten to grade 12 public school system teaching her language and culture to children for 17 years.

After she retired from the Cariboo Chilcotin School District and raising six children she began working for universities to develop their Aboriginal language programs.

Cecilia has worked tirelessly in writing and developing curriculum to teach our language and culture in an effort to ensure that the language does not die.

In recent years, she has devoted her energy to Head Start programs and enjoys working with young children. Also, she has devoted her time to teaching our language at the Elder’s College in Williams Lake.

Besides being a “teacher” in every sense of the word, Cecilia has also taken courses to work as a translator for the RCMP, hospital and the court system.

She has attained countless certificates from institutions.

Besides learning, teaching and translating, Cecilia is also the Elder who is asked most often asked to make buckskin moccasins and gloves; birch bark and pine needle baskets; beaded necklaces, earrings, and hat bands; and beaded eagle feathers—because her work is outstanding. Because of this, her crafts have been sent everywhere across Canada, Australia, England, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and the USA.

It’s for these reasons that Cecilia is worthy of being recognized as a Language Champion in BC!

Nominator: DeDe DeRose