Marcia Guno, director, Indigenous Student Centre, invites all SFU students to visit the new centre.
Indigenous Student Centre opens
Traditional songs, dances, speeches and feasting marked the Sept. 2 opening of Simon Fraser University’s new Indigenous Student Centre, a spacious 1700-square-foot suite of offices and meeting rooms in AQ 2002 at the Burnaby campus.
More than two years in the planning and building, the centre will serve as a home-away-from-home for approximately 600 indigenous students, and house the office of the First Nations Student Association.
Planned with assistance from First Nations students and community representatives, the $500,000 centre’s wood and stone finishes reflect nature and “pay homage to the Coast Salish territories upon which SFU sits,” says Nancy Johnston, executive director, Student Services.
Amenities include a smoke-eater for indoor smudging, a Smart board and computers for studying, student meeting and gathering spaces, a dedicated room for the Elders’ program, and a kitchen.
“Our centre is a warm and welcoming space for our students,” says Marcia Guno, the centre’s new director.
In addition to the Elders’ Program, the centre will house the peer cousins' mentorship and peer education learning and writing programs, and offer academic tutoring services.
Guno is also organizing regular drop-in sessions for students to meet with advisors from SFU’s Learning Commons, Academic Advising, Co-op Education and Career Counseling.
“It helps build bridges amongst departments and creates a comfortable environment for our students to utilize services,” says Guno. “It will also increase overall awareness of the student support available to them.”