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First Nations office renamed Office of Aboriginal Peoples

May 13, 2010

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SFU’s First Nations office has changed its name to the Office for Aboriginal Peoples (OAP) to more clearly identify the communities it serves—and it also has a new logo.

"The new name better reflects our mandate to act in the interests of all Canadian Aboriginal Peoples—Metis, Inuit and all First Nations people including status, non-status, treaty and non-treaty peoples," says OAP director William Lindsay.

"We will also act in the interests of relevant international indigenous peoples."

The new logo was designed for the OAP by classically trained Haida artist Juanita Ens. It features an eagle and two abstracted U forms representing Burnaby Mountain. The eagle is a highly respected creature among Aboriginal Peoples, often symbolizing honour, strength and wisdom.

With Ens’ design, the soaring eagle’s beak and tongue overlap with the mountain. In Haida art and mythology, creatures and spiritual beings often touch their tongues with other beings or objects as a physical depiction of the transfer of knowledge, a song or a story. Other B.C. first nations have similar beliefs.

The office is having a button blanket incorporating the new logo made for its boardroom, says Lindsay. And it’s also considering a wooden carving of the logo to go between two planned totem poles outside the office entrance, "if it doesn’t look too crowded."

The OAP website should be up and running by early summer, Lindsay adds, and it has added new OAP signage outside the entrance to its Burnaby campus location in AQ 3140.

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