Tell Us Your Stories
Committed to Indigenizing campus
Posted: June 21, 2012 10:00 a.m.
Students like these are looking forward to new digs as a project to expand the Aboriginal Students Centre gets underway. U of R Photography Dept.
The University has taken another step forward in its commitment to address the needs of Aboriginal students with the start of a construction project that will expand the Aboriginal Student Centre (ASC).
According to Misty Longman, manager of the ASC, the current space (a single classroom in College West) is inadequate and no longer effectively supports Aboriginal students’ needs. “Approximately 10 per cent of our first-year undergraduate student population is self-declared Aboriginal and it’s growing each semester,” says Longman. “We are thrilled that we're given the opportunity with our new space to provide quality support for our growing student population.”
The newly renovated area in the Research and Innovation Centre will be able to accommodate approximately 50 students and will be used primarily as a student lounge and study space. It will also house eight computer stations, double the current capacity in the College West location, and will be a much improved space for group work and study.
The expansion of the Aboriginal Student Centre is just one of the recent initiatives the University has undertaken in its commitment to its strategic plan entitled, mâmawohkamâtowin: Our Work, Our People, Our Communities. The Cree word mâmawohkamâtowin means “co-operation; working together towards common goals.”
Working together is also the mantra of the recently established Aboriginal Advisory Circle. The Circle was established last fall and is comprised of Aboriginal faculty and staff who provide recommendations to help address the challenges faced by Aboriginal students.
As well, the University continues to work closely with First Nations University of Canada, and is in the final stages of hiring for an executive position that will lead the U of R’s Indigenization efforts and oversee Aboriginal initiatives on campus.
Longman says that these initiatives as well as the expansion to the ASC serve to strengthen the University's commitment to an Indigenized campus and better serve Aboriginal students.
The renovation project concludes in September.