Thompson Rivers University and the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band (TteS) strengthened their relationship with the signing of a memorandum of understanding that commits to greater indigenization of TRU’s Kamloops campus.
TteS Chief Shane Gottfriedson and Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor shook hands, exchanged gifts and commented on the university’s origins 43 years ago on the site where the signing took place, the Chief Louis Centre (formerly the Kamloops Residential School).
“This commemorates that beginning … Cariboo College and the Tk’emlúps Indian Band were together at the start,” said Shaver, addressing the group of TteS councillors and education department staff, and city and university officials who were on hand for the signing.
“Education is one of the things that gives opportunity to our kids,” said Gottfriedson. “To go to university, and be able to stay at home with the supports and comfort of family leads to greater success.”
Years in the making, the signing of today’s MOU is historic, Gottfriedson stated, “It’s important to realize that education for our people is a priority; it gives our people skills and knowledge to better themselves; eliminating poverty.”
Gottfriedson and Shaver each credited the smooth facilitation of the MOU to TteS Councilor Ed Jensen and TRU Director Aboriginal Education Nathan Matthew. Uli Scheck, TRU Provost and Vice-President will be responsible for “bringing life” to the MOU. “Education is a vital investment because material things, like cars and houses, can be lost. Learning is forever, it’s the one investment that can never be taken away,” he said.
Creating a culturally welcoming campus is a key factor in Aboriginal student success, and the new MOU formally sets out steps between TRU and TteS to achieve this, including representation by TteS officials at Aboriginal events and on the First Nations and Aboriginal Affairs Committee of Senate, collaboration on the potential development and delivery of programs and other initiatives of interest to TteS members, and the incorporation of Secwépemc culture and traditions in ceremonies at TRU.
TRU will continue to develop and implement services that are designed to enhance TteS students’ post-secondary experience culturally, linguistically, socially and academically, with exceptional consideration for the Secwépemc worldview and belief system.
For more information please contact:
Chief, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc
TRU President and Vice-Chancellor