Aboriginal students at Northern Lights College have a new space to study and honour their heritage with the official opening of the new gathering place today, announced Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development.
The Province has invested $263,513 in the new gathering place at NLC’s Fort Nelson campus. The new gathering place features artwork and cultural artefacts commissioned by local Aboriginal bands, as well as a fireplace and study areas decorated using textures and colours that evoke the four elements – fire, water, earth and wind.
Since the Fort Nelson campus opened more than 30 years ago, the number of Aboriginal students attending has steadily increased, with over 200 enrolled in 2008-09. NLC has promoted their personal and professional success as they pursue their post-secondary education.
Aboriginal gathering places are designed to enhance support services for the growing number of Aboriginal students on campuses all over B.C. The gathering places promote and preserve Aboriginal culture and history and are a resource for the community and students.
The Province is investing $13.2 million to create gathering places that reflect Aboriginal culture at our public, post-secondary institutions. In addition to the gathering place at its Fort Nelson campus, Northern Lights also has plans underway to build gathering places at its Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Chetwynd campuses.