Honouring former SFU president Andrew Petter
The Office for Aboriginal Peoples (OAP) hosted a small witnessing (Kwis Ns7eyx̱) ceremony on August 31, 2020 to honour Andrew Petter on his last day as president and vice chancellor.
The ceremony was conducted in accordance with Coast Salish tradition and protocol, in which the person to be honoured is “stood up” and blanketed as a mark of deep respect and gratitude.
“The OAP commissioned the blanket, which was designed in relation to Burnaby Mountain,” says Indigenous studies professor Rudy Reimer (Yumks), who led the ceremony.
“It was thought when Andrew Petter wore the special blanket, he would feel connected to the mountain and all the good work he has done over the years.”
The ceremony began with two blankets laid out to define a sacred space, symbolizing the special significance of Earth in Indigenous culture, and concluded with singing and drumming.