We raise our hands to STOLȻEȽ John Edward Elliott Sr.!

Among a group of extraordinary individuals, STOLȻEȽ received an Honorary Doctor of Education (DEd) degree at the 2019 spring University of Victoria convocation ceremonies.

STOLȻEȽ is a respected Elder from the W̱JOȽEȽP Tsartlip First Nation who played a pivotal role in the preservation and revitalization of the SENĆOŦEN language. He is a historian, mentor, language warrior, traditional knowledge keeper and a gifted teacher. He taught at the ÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School for 40 years, immersing students from kindergarten to Grade 10 in the SENĆOŦEN language. He now teaches adult students who are working on their education degrees through UVic and the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board. Over the years, he also taught classes and supported many projects at UVic and Camosun College focusing on Indigenous knowledge, culture and language revitalization. 

In 1999, STOLȻEȽ co-founded FirstVoices, a ground-breaking online Indigenous language archiving and teaching resource. He paved the way for the Tribal School to employ nine full-time SENĆOŦEN immersion teachers from pre-school to Grade 5. He served for many years as a member of the BC First Nations Education Council sub-committee on language and on the board of First Peoples’ Cultural Council. 

STOLȻEȽ continues to model the Coast Salish teachings of humility and of honouring the Elders and his ancestors. He is tireless in his service to the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) people.