St. Paul's Catholic Church integrates Squamish language into masses

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By Charlie Carey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

St. Paul’s Indian Church is on a path of integration, merging Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (Squamish language) and traditional knowledge with Roman Catholic teachings and faith.
Lead by Squamish Elder and Catholic Deacon Rennie Nahanee, the church is holding Sunday masses in Squamish language, in effort to decolonize the space and bring back those to the church who may be disenfranchised with the religious institution.
The Catholic Parish at Squamish Nation’s Eslha7an (Mission Reserve), on the north shore of the Burrard Inlet, was erected in 1868. It is the oldest Catholic mission church in the Lower Mainland and a designated national historical site.
Nahanee is confident the church can be a vessel for cultural revitalization, and ongoing education about Squamish language and teachings.
“I believe that learning our language, our culture, our customs, and our dance can all be done here, as a way of preserving and saving all those things. Because this is a forever...continued.

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