Plans are coming together to expand the Quw’utsun Smuneem Elementary School.

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour says the school that opened on the Reserve in 2003 only goes to Grade 4 and it’s overflowing.

“Our plan is to go to Grade 7 with this expansion.  We started working on the expansion when the Koksilah School was closed down because 99 per cent of the students at Koksilah were our kids.  I believe the majority of them ended up at Alexander School.  With our expansion, we will be able to get our kids back on the Reserve going to school.”

Seymour says Cowichan Tribes has received money from Indian Affairs to start the first phase of the expansion, which is a feasibility study.

Once that’s done, he says the project can move to the pre-design stage with the approval, again of Indian Affairs.

Eventually, Seymour says they would like to have schools on the Reserve to take children right up until Grade 12.