Bow Valley College recognizes March as Indigenous Awareness Month on our Campuses
Bow Valley College is proud to devote the month of March to celebrating the unique contributions, histories, traditions, and cultures of and with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Peoples. With more than 500 self-identified Indigenous students and Indigenous staff, instructors, and leaders (and countless more graduates and friends), we are proud to create opportunities to learn and celebrate the richness of diversity of the College community together.
“Because we are all Treaty Peoples, we share the responsibility of understanding Truth from the perspectives of Indigenous voices by supporting your commitment to reconciliation on a personal level,” shares Dr. Maurice Manyfingers, a member of the Blood Tribe/Kanai, and Bow Valley College’s first-ever Director of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “We will actualize our commitments to decolonization by increasing awareness, understanding, and mutual respect together.”
So far over the course of the month of March, our students have gathered to learn more about the Iniikokaan Centre (a “buffalo lodge” for all nations to gather), Indigenous student supports, and how to access Elder engagement and community connections. Iniikokaan Centre serves all students and works to sustain safety, respect, and reverence for all Nations within this space and place. The Centre is committed to Indigenous student success, as students define it. Iniikokaan’s staff are responsible for helping students to address barriers and walk beside them in a supportive and culturally appropriate way. Together, we are co-creating a sense of belonging and community.
We know that it is vital that our students are connected and supported by culturally relevant activities to help foster a sense of belonging. Bow Valley College is proud to support our Indigenous students year-round through the Iniikokaan Centre and the many resources available on campus. For more information on Iniikokaan Centre resources, please visit https://bowvalleycollege.ca/student-resources/student-life/iniikokaan-centre.
Upcoming events for Indigenous Awareness Month will highlight “Relationships Through Connection” and focus on students, the College community, and the external community, to encourage meeting students where they’re at, connecting in the right way, renewing a spirit of learning and strengthening relationships with valued community members and organizations through the shared value of reciprocity. We invite our Alumni and employee community to attend and participate in these events on our campuses. Visit here to learn more about upcoming events and how you can participate: https://bowvalleycollege.ca/student-resources/student-life/iniikokaan-centre/indigenous-awareness-month.
Awareness is a first step toward meaningful action. March is an opportune time for the College community to focus on awareness events in preparation for the annual National Indigenous History Month across Canada. These activities can be a foundation for anyone who is looking to increase their understanding and personal journey toward healing for all.
For more information on upcoming Indigenous Awareness Month activities and how you can get involved, please visit https://bowvalleycollege.ca/student-resources/student-life/iniikokaan-centre/indigenous-awareness-month.