Shane Gottfriedson

Kamloops Indian Band, SFU seek permanent centre

September 7, 2007

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SFU and the Kamloops Indian Band (KIB) signed a memorandum of understanding to look at building a permanent academic centre on band land. For 19 years, SFU has delivered its Kamloops programs in university-owned portable trailers on land leased from the KIB. Under the agreement, the band would own the permanent structure and lease space to SFU.

KIB chief Shane Gottfriedson says the proposed new structure would improve the environment for existing students and attract new students, increasing First Nations access to first-class educational programming.

“Education is the way to the future for sustainability for First Nations people,” says  Gottfriedson. “We need to build capacity in our communities to take advantage of economic development opportunities, and this is the initial step in moving our community forward.”

More than 300 students have earned SFU undergraduate degrees through the Kamloops program. While most graduates are of aboriginal ancestry, non-aboriginal students complete their degrees there because of the unique opportunities the program offers. They include community-based social-research training, archaeological and cultural resource management, and the chance to study First Nations issues from a First Nations perspective.

The Kamloops Indian Band is a First Nations government within the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council. The council represents 10 of the 17 Secwepemc band governments, all in the southern Central Interior, spanning the Thompson and Shuswap districts.
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