Long before Canada was formed, the Stó:lō, the people of the river, occupied the land on which UFV is located. They lived in the Fraser Valley and lower Fraser Canyon of British Columbia and they spoke Halq’améylem, also known as the upriver dialect
In 2019, Stó:lō Nation Elder Siyamiyateliyot (Elizabeth Phillips) honoured Student Orientation by gifting us the Halkomelem name Tl’etl’axel, which means “to invite people to gather in one community”. In the words of Elder Siyamiyateliyot, Tl’etl’axel includes “how things were done a long time ago and still practiced today. A foot runner used to go all places and ask people to come.”
After learning of our new name, Chantelle Trainor-Matties, Indigenous graphic designer and UFV alum, was invited to design a new logo to accompany this new name. Chantelle spoke with indigenous elders and knowledge keepers, local environmental groups, and UFV staff members before deciding to model the logo on the Oregon Spotted Frog — a species unique to our Fraser Valley Wetlands, and the most endangered frog in Canada.
Chantelle found the Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery who “promote Pacific Northwest Coast Culture and Artwork”, indicate that “the Frog symbolizes wealth and abundance”. “When a Frog is portrayed in art with his tongue touching another creature it represents the sharing of knowledge and power.”
She believes that the Oregon Spotted Frog design captures the significance of Tl’etl’axel, and the purpose of Student Orientation at UFV.
UFV students, staff, and faculty have the privilege to study and work on the territory of the Stó:lō (people of the river). We recognize and honour the contributions Indigenous peoples have made, and continue to make, in our community.