Aboriginal Centre Advisory Council
The Aboriginal Centre Advisory Council is now established at Bow Valley College with the engagement of six members, two of whom are BVC Alumni. The following detail their engagement as being members of the council:
- Provided feedback to the architects about the student gathering room's design and structure in 2009.
- Participated in Bow Valley College's Vision 2020, community consultation in May 2011.
- Engaged in discussions on the Aboriginal Centre's Vision, Mission, Goals, and Values in June 2011.
The continuation of the Advisory Council is critical for the following:
- Support the Aboriginal Centre Staff
- Support the Aboriginal Centre in its implementation of mission, vision and goals
- Provide advice and feedback on the Aboriginal Centre's plan towards the opening of the new centre in 2013.
The Advisory Council provides support for the Iniikokaan Aboriginal Centre in the development and implementation of its programs for 2013. An effort has been made to invite students whenever there is a meeting with the Advisory Council as it promotes relationships and mentorship opportunities.
In terms of feedback, BVC has benefitted from the participation of the Advisory Council because they are part of the Aboriginal Community and in a manner they are ambassadors for BVC as well. The words of two members are shared below:
As an alumnus, I am grateful that BVC gave me the opportunity to begin my lifelong learning in education. As a member of the advisory council, I am giving back to the college what I have achieved and learned so that more First Nations, Inuit and Metis students can succeed while learning at the college through my active participation as a member of the advisory council. [Roy Bearchief, Aboriginal Centre Advisory Council Member, Siksika area]
Note: Roy Bearchief was a recipient of the provincial $5,000 award and he donated this to BVC as the Iyiikakimaat Award (Try Hard) which is given to Aboriginal students each year in the Academic Foundations program.
I am from the Alderville First Nation in southern Ontario, and have lived in Calgary since 1987. I have worked in many areas for over 35 years; in the past 20 years, I have worked in economic development and Aboriginal tourism for First Nations organizations. I have been a mentor for Aboriginal entrepreneurs in small business and tourism and I know the struggles that First Nations people have in fulfilling their dreams for self-sufficiency. I know the value of education. I have returned to school three times while working full-time to university twice and once to college. With my own experience with returning to school, I always encourage people to learn and further themselves through education. I am proud to be on the Board and look forward to the completion of the Aboriginal Centre and all that it represents for the Aboriginal students. [Lorie Beaver, Aboriginal Centre Advisory Council Member, Calgary area]