Promise of continued support of Aboriginal studies marks the University’s 40th year in Sechelt
Helen Aikenhead // Features Editor
Capilano University celebrated its 40-year anniversary in Sechelt on Sept. 21. In conjunction with the milestone, CapU signed an historic agreement with the shíshálh Nation to “formalize and expand upon existing collaboration” at kálax-ay, the school’s Sunshine Coast campus.
The agreement states that the University will continue to support Aboriginal studies as well as work on further development in “Aboriginal history, culture, language protocols and values.” Along with Elder Mus-Swiya (Jamie Dixon), a representative of shíshálh chief and council, and CapU’s Dean of kálax- ay, Julia Denholm, CapU President Paul Danger eld spoke at the signing and voiced his hope for increased collaboration between the school and the shíshálh Nation in the future.
With the University having observed Truth and Reconciliation week from Sept. 18 through Sept. 24, the signing was just one of the actions taken in CapU’s effort to strengthen its collaboration with First Nations communities. Throughout the week, First Nations Student Services and CapU’s Indigenize the Academy committee had speakers on campus as well as forums, a book launch, a potluck and an interactive art installation available to students and staff.
In an effort to further inform and educate the campus community on the history of residential schools and the significance their history holds, many instructors have additionally included curriculum about Truth and Reconciliation in their courses.
It is imperative to a thriving community that all of its members are equally represented. The week of events commemorating Truth and Reconciliation and the signing of the affiliation agreement serve as symbols of a promise to continue to acknowledge the past failures of this country, and give a platform to the histories often left untold.