The Ts̓zil Learning Centre, Mount Currie
The Ts̓zil Learning Centre serves the more northern communities of the Sea-to-Sky corridor by providing academic upgrading, trades and skills training and university-level programming. The Líl̓wat Nation Language and Culture program, taught from the Líl̓wat perspective, offers courses in Ucwalmícwts, the traditional Líl̓wat language, as well as other aspects of culture, history and tradition.
Capilano University is truly honoured to offer courses and programs through Ts̓zil in partnership with the Líl̓wat Nation, who own and operate this post-secondary facility. Students benefit from small class sizes, warm and welcoming staff and instructors, a holistic approach to learning and ongoing Líl̓wat cultural activities. Celebrations, drumming and dancing, and community ceremonies and events happen right in Ts̓zil's s7ístken Hall (an s7ístken is a traditional winter dwelling of the Líl̓wat people).
The Ts̓zil Learning Centre was established in the 1990s and the Líl̓wat Nation asked Capilano University for adult education and vocational training programs to be delivered in the community. Community-based delivery was requested to increase access to post-secondary education in the community—so students wouldn't need to leave their families, jobs and supports to complete post-secondary programs away from home. For many community members, Ts̓zil was and continues to be the only viable way they are able to access a post-secondary education.
Since Ts̓zil's inception, Capilano University and other post-secondary partners have delivered a variety of programs to meet the needs of the Líl̓wat Nation and surrounding communities. An affiliation agreement between the Líl̓wat Nation and Capilano University was signed in 2019 to solidify the shared vision to strengthen and build the capacity of the Líl̓wat people, and to help community members achieve their dreams.
The Ts̓zil Learning Centre is housed in a brand new $8-million building. The Líl̓wat Nation owns and operates Ts̓zil, with a focus on community, cultural renewal, holistic health and personal growth.
There is plenty of space for students to study and gather at Ts̓zil. Students can work in the computer lab where they have access to the Internet and Microsoft Office programs. The study room allows for group and private study sessions and is a place where students will often meet tutors. Tables in the grand s7ístken Hall are set against wrap-around windows with views of Mount Currie, making it a common area for students and community members to meet and eat. The comfy sofas around the fireplace at s7ístken Hall also provide a cozy meeting place.
Ts̓zil's student lounge was officially named Gáw'en by students and the community. It means "to gather people/things together in one place" in Ucwalmícwts, the language of the Líl̓wat people. In Gáw'en students will find a warm cup of complementary coffee, and the use of plates, cups, utensils, a kettle and a microwave. Gatherings around food happen here almost weekly throughout the school year, and it’s a place where elders and Líl̓wat knowledge keepers offer cultural teachings on Fridays after lunch.
Also located in the Ts̓zil Learning Centre is the Líl̓wat7úl Culture Centre, where students and visitors can explore the culture of the Líl̓wat people. In addition to cultural items on display, people can purchase books on Líl̓wat's history, Ucwalmícwts language and traditional plants, as well as crafts by local artists and various other Líl̓wat and First Nations items.
Ts̓zil does not have a cafeteria, so the student lounge Gáw'en is often used for preparing or heating up meals. Also, next door is the new Líl̓wat-run gas station with convenience store. Sandwiches and other warm and cold food options and drinks can be purchased there.
While the majority of Ts̓zil's students are Aboriginal from the Líl̓wat, N'Quatqua and other St̓át̓yemc Nations, non-Aboriginal students and all other students are welcome. From upgrading to university-level English to learning the Ucwalmícwts language, all students benefit from the culturally rich, respectful and supportive adult-learning environment.
Academic upgrading refers to courses that are designed to help students prepare for and be eligible for post-secondary level courses and programs and the workplace.
Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses are provincial high school equivalency courses for adult learners. ABE courses can help you complete high school courses so that you can earn your BC Adult Dogwood Graduation Diploma. You can also take them to improve your marks in grade 11 and 12 courses and to complete pre-requisites for post-secondary studies.
Ts̓zil offers math, English and computers every fall and spring semester, and also offers Education and Career Planning, Advanced Social Studies and First Nations Studies on a rotational basis. Courses are in-person and self-paced, with our friendly and helpful instructors there to guide you through your learning.
Please contact the Ts̓zil Learning Centre at 604 894 2300 to enquire about upcoming ABE courses and schedules.
The Líl̓wat Nation Language and Culture certificate is a university-level credential. A local Líl̓wat language speaker instructs students through four courses in Ucwalmícwts, the Líl̓wat language. A local knowledge keeper instructs two First Nations Studies courses, which explore the history, the people and tie to the land. Guest speakers, field trips and practical projects bring these courses to life. Linguistics courses help learners truly understand how the language works, while two English courses—one an Indigenous Literature and Film course—round out this program.
This program is open to any indigenous or non-indigenous person who meets the Capilano University entrance requirements. The program information can be found at Academic Upgrading.
Please contact the Ts̓zil Learning Centre at 604 894 2300 for further information and to inquire about upcoming Language and Culture courses and schedules.
Capilano University has offered a variety of courses and programs at Ts̓zil. Programs are offered as community demand and funding dictate. Examples of university-level programs we have run in the past include Early Childhood Care & Education, Business Fundamentals and Education Assistant. We also sometimes offer non-credit skills-based programs such as the Building Service Worker program and the Cashier and Customer Service program.
Please contact the Ts̓zil Learning Centre at 604 894 2300 to find out which programs are being offered.
All ABE courses are tuition-free for all Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
All university-level programming is subject to standard university tuition and fees. Aboriginal students may qualify for funding and should contact their Nation's Education Coordinator to find out more.
Please contact the Ts̓zil Learning Centre directly at 604 894 2300 to inquire about courses and programs, and to apply and register. The faculty and staff at Ts̓zil are happy to assist you in the process, and will keep you informed about course start dates, times, and other application and registration details.
Textbooks will be available in class through your instructor. Líl̓wat Nation members will have their textbooks paid for by the Nation. Other Aboriginal students can check with their Nation's education coordinators to see if their Nation will cover costs. All other students will be able to pay for their textbooks in class.