Education faculty marks National Aboriginal Day with new gathering space

June 22, 2016

SFU’s Faculty of Education celebrated National Aboriginal Day on June 21st with the opening of a new Aboriginal Gathering Space.

The spacious, light-filled room features comfortable seating, a small kitchen, and natural hardwood flooring while cultural photos and teachings adorn the walls.

Funded by the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 170, the space is centrally located in the education building.

“This new space reflects our commitment to advance indigenous education in both the faculty and the communities we serve,” says Ron Johnston, director of the faculty’s Office for Indigenous Education.

Honoured guests and speakers at the opening ceremony included SFU board member Christopher (Syeta’xtn) Lewis, of the Squamish Nation, education professor and elder Richard Vedan, education dean Kris Magnusson, Megan Rosso of SFU’s First Nations Student Association, and Khelsilem, program director and founder of Kwi Awt Stelmexw, a school that teaches the Squamish language in partnership with SFU’s linguistics department.

Johnston says the faculty has future plans to build a Truth and Reconciliation Memorial Garden and Outdoor Classroom on the patio deck adjacent to the gathering place.

Published in SFU News on June 22, 2016.