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həm'ləsəm' and q'ələχən Houses

Two new houses, opened September 2011, are home to 566 of the 1,757 students living in Totem Park Residence. With respect, the Musqueam People were invited to help name these new houses. We are honoured that they chose to put forth two place names that are closely linked to the Musqueam. These Houses are named həm'ləsəm' and q'ələχən, and are written in the hən'q'əmin'əm' (h-un-q-uh-mi-n-uhm) language using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Musqueam record their language using IPA as it's the most accurate way to capture the unique sounds not found in English.



Pronunciation: "hummingbird", "legitimate", "some"           Hear pronunciation: 75px-Speaker_Icon_gray.svg

Pronounce the highlighted syllables as they would sound in the examples given. Stress is on the first syllable. The letter "m", marked by an apostrophe, signifies glottalization.

Locations: Before contact with European explorers, tens of thousands of Musqueam lived in many communities throughout their traditional territories stretching from Howe Sound, along either side of Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm to the land between the Coquitlam and Fraser Rivers and to the coast.

The legend behind the name:

"həm'ləsəm' is a site of transformation (south of Wreck Beach) where χe:l's, the transformer who oversaw social behaviour, punished a greedy person for being possessive and wasteful of fresh water from the natural spring. While bent over to drink and unwilling to share this vital resource, he was turned to rock. His chamber pot spilled and became the smaller rock beside him."

As told by Larry Grant, Elder from Musqueam Nation, (2011)

"Resource, which is information, intelligence, all the different knowledges of the world that come together at the university, should be shared freely, so that people move through life together and grow together." — Larry Grant

Click here for q'ələχən House.

Winter Session Housing

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Student Housing and Hospitality Services

Student Housing and Hospitality Services
2205 Lower Mall, Building 6
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604-822-2811
Fax: 604-822-6935
E-mail: information@housing.ubc.ca

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