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Indigenous Classroom Opens Circle of Learning

Selkirk College Introduces New Space

 

A fresh space on Selkirk College’s Castlegar Campus welcomes students from diverse cultural backgrounds to join together in dialogue, knowledge and understanding.

During the first full week of classes at the regional post-secondary, students, faculty and staff joined together with Elders to officially open the college’s first Indigenous classroom. Beginning with a smudging ceremony outside, students taking the Indigenous Studies 287 course entered a beautiful room configured and adorned in a manner that inspires interconnected learning.

Selkirk College students, faculty, staff and community Elders joined together to officially open the post-secondary’s first Indigenous classroom on the Castlegar Campus. Set in a permanent circular configuration and featuring brilliant wood furnishings, the bright space sets an immediate tone of openness.

“This classroom is a collective vision that is meant to inspire students and faculty by sharing the knowledge of our Indigenous Elders, artists, scientists and storytellers, acknowledging the right to practice and articulate the wisdom of our ancestors,” said Indigenous Studies Instructor Elizabeth Ferguson, who put forward the idea of an Indigenous classroom. “Here we invite the voices of the ancestors to guide us in our understanding of our responsibility to the land, to respect the spirit that lives in all, to teach with our trickster stories and to bless our connections and interrelationship with all that is. Here we will embrace renewal practices and embed our values so that others may see how we walk in a world that is in a constant state of flux. We invite all to share this knowledge with us.”

Set in a permanent circular configuration and featuring brilliant wood furnishings built inhouse from scratch by facilities team member Bob Kalmakoff, the bright space sets an immediate tone of openness. The focal-point in middle of the room is a large moon mask rug created by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Rande Cook.

Read the entire story at selkirk.ca.

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