First Nations studies plan to change name to Indigenous studies

By contributor Spencer Sheehan-Kalina VIU’s Faculty of First Nations Studies announced to students that it will be changing its name to Indigenous Studies. Keith Smith, a professor who teaches First Nations Studies introductory courses, explained “the initial impetus behind it is that First Nations can been seen as fairly exclusive; the term doesn’t include Métis, Inuit … Continued

Upcoming Arts & Humanities Colloquium talk on reviving a language

Above: At Dzawadi. Photo courtesy of Laura Cranmer By contributor Gordon Hak Languages are social, cultural, historical, and personal. They can also disappear. In an upcoming talk in the Arts & Humanities colloquium Series, Dr. Laura Cranmer, of the First Nations Studies Department will give a talk entitled: “Kwak’ wala Language Revitalization: Is It Possible?” The presentation … Continued

The Truth in Reconciliation

Above: An honouring ceremony for the Snuneymuxw people last year at VIU.  By Lori Shwydky  Last week, the “Indigenous Survivance: The Truth in Reconciliation” event was held on campus by my class, Health and Human Services 263 (HHS 263): Elder Teachings Across Disciplines, with instructors John Swift and VIU Elder Geraldine Manson. I used to think … Continued

Making a cultural and spiritual connection

By contributor Andrea Christiansen Greenland is a barren, white island known as the land of ice and snow—a no man’s land where snowstorms never end. But in reality, the island’s population is approximately 56 thousand and it has all four seasons. During spring, the snow begins to melt, and you can hear the water dripping … Continued

Contest to give voice to Aboriginal writers

In Our Own Voice is an anthology series that publishes fiction written by Aboriginal writers from BC. The 2015 edition of the book featured writers from grades eight through 12, and Rebel Mountain Press and the Vancouver Island Regional Library have now announced a writing contest for 2016. The contest is open to Aboriginal writers—as … Continued

Shawn Atleo delivers inspiration for indigenous progress

Potlatches begin with Elders speaking while listeners eat, so the teachings and good feelings can enter with the food. The teachings nourish the soul, spirit, and heart, while the food nourishes the body. “Plus, if it’s really tasty, you’re quiet,” joked Shawn Atleo, former National Chief of Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and former Chancellor … Continued

Mi’kmaq memories

Mi’k-what? Mi’kmaq is my heritage, or so I believe. Pronounced <mik mak> or with silenced k and q <me mah>, and representing a large native population in the Maritime provinces, specifically my father’s province of New Brunswick and the accompanying Indian Island (yes, that’s a real place). Shawn Atleo recently returned to VIU’s Nanaimo campus … Continued

VIU Services: Shq’apthut

Above: Shq’apthut on VIU’s Nanaimo campus via Shq’apthut: A Gathering Place was built in 2009 as a designated area that reflects and transcends our First Nations culture. The Gathering Place now boasts staff from the Services for Aboriginal Students team that supports Aboriginal students to succeed in achieving their academic goals. The team assists … Continued

Indigenous reconciliation: Re-learning history for the future

Above: Doug White via By contributor Chantelle Spicer The idea of reconciliation between First Nations and non-Indigenous peoples was heavy in the minds of many people this year, and it’s one which will continue to profoundly shape our social, political, and legal worlds for years to come. After many events concerning reconciliation in the … Continued

City of Nanaimo sows seeds for the future

By contributor Tomi Lawson The city of Nanaimo is planning to replace the fallen trees in Colliery Dams Park. According to a City of Nanaimo news release, horticultural crews from the city have gathered pine cones from Douglas fir, Grand fir, and Western Red cedar trees. They have also gathered big leaf maple seeds and … Continued

Sisters in Spirit vigil at VIU

Above: Supporters observe a moment of silence in remembrance of missing and murdered First Nations women and girls. By contributor Shanon Fenske. VIU’s Nanaimo campus hosted a candlelight vigil for missing and murdered First Nations women and girls in on October 1. Approximately 50 people attending the midday ceremony. VIU Students’ Union chairperson Sherry McCarthy said the … Continued

Cedars donated to totem pole project

    By contributor Tomi Lawson VIU received a donation of two cedar trees from Western Forest Products (WFP), and they will be used as part of  a totem pole carving iniative. The cedar trees were harvested in the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations territory. Sherry McCarthy, VIU Students’ Union Chairperson and totem pole project manager, says, … Continued

My Honoured Fellow Native People

By contributor Jennifer Garceau  A drum beat slowly grows louder as CHLY’s “Si’ em’ nu Ts ‘lhhwulmuhw” (My Honoured Fellow Native People) radio show gets under way. It is hosted each week by Geraldine Manson, Natasha Bob, and Kenny Brault with frequent guest co-hosts such as Devon Pielle and Buffi David. Brault is already a … Continued

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