The Founders of the Coldwater School
This committed, small group of people are the people who built the Coldwater School from the ground up. Without them, we would not have the beautiful school and facilities that we have today. We are forever grateful and humbled by our founders for this tremendous achievement.
The Coldwater school’s spirit is animated by the dreams and beliefs of our elders; Shulee (Julia) Kilroy, Lizzie Aljam, Bernadette Antoine and Gordon Antoine. They dreamed the community would build a school of promise, and they believed the promise would be kept. Our school promises progress, and has been moving forward confidently since 1984.
The school opened in the September of 1984, in the Coldwater Band Hall. Seventeen students showed up. There were few book-sets, paper was rationed and students had to wait their turn to use the scissors. It was a humble beginning: no sod-turning, no ribbon cutting, no parade of speakers. The Coldwater School began with the simplicity of education itself, learning the ABC’s of moving a school forward. Beginning the dream of a permanent school dedicated to enriching the Coldwater community never wavered.
The dream went from the very temporary ‘school’ in the band hall to a new ‘school’ housed in portables. An apt name for the cluster of trailers meant to carry forward the dream of an eventual school that could actually put down roots and slightly more than a dozen years from its modest beginning, a firm foundation was poured that would provide the footing for the permanent school dreamt of by the elders and brought into being by the community.
The End of one Dream; a Beginning for New Dreams
In September 1997 we achieved the dream of a new school, a four million dollar facility complete with modern classrooms, office space, a kitchen and eating area, a library and a state-of-the-art gymnasium. Born from the forest and mountains surrounding it the wood and stone structure represents the N’łeʔkepmx culture of the area. The school is planted proudly on the Coldwater Indian Reservation #1 approximately 16km S.W. of Merritt BC, the result of big dreams held by a small band of determined people (helped immensely by community fund-raising and corporate sponsorship).
With the keys to education in their hands our students, our people have a head start on making their own dreams come true.