Six members started the Advisory Council in 2008. Two of them are Bow Valley College alumni.
The council has worked on the following:
- Giving feedback on the student gathering room redesign in 2009
- Bow Valley College's community consultation
- The centre's vision, mission, goals, and values
The Advisory Council has these critical responsibilities:
- Support the centre staff
- Support the centre in implementing its mission, vision, and goals
- Give feedback on the centre's programs
In 2013, the Advisory Council helped the Iniikokaan Centre develop and put in place its programs. The Advisory Council has benefitted the College because the council belongs to the Indigenous community. The council members are ambassadors for the College as well. Here are testimonials from two members:
As an alumnus, I am grateful that Bow Valley College 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 so that more First Nations, Inuit, and Metis students can succeed while learning at the College.
Roy Bearchief, Iniikokaan Centre Advisory Council member, Siksika area
Note: Roy Bearchief received a provincial $5,000 award, which he donated to the College. He called it the Iyiikakimaat Award (Try Hard). The College gives it to Indigenous students 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 returning to school, I always encourage people to learn and further themselves through education. I am proud to be on the council.