Thompson Rivers University

Secwépemc territorial marker installed in Old Main

June 19, 2014

The deep relationship between the Secwépemc people and the traditional lands on which TRU resides is commemorated on campus with a First Nations territorial marker. Created by Secwépemc artists Rod and Ron Tomma and Mike Peters, the glossy stone territorial marker was installed in the revamped north entrance to Old Main, where the glassed-in elevator climbs to the fourth floor.

Territorial markers hold great meaning for the Secwépemc. They are significant land forms and rocks that sometimes represented places of mythological happenings, or designated boundary areas. They often involved mythological beings or animals of traditional significance, such as the coyote. TRU’s territorial marker is made from a rare form of quartz and adorned with pictographs.

“This territorial marker will inspire an appreciation of the land in which we live and learn in partnership with Indigenous people,” said TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Shaver, who formally announced the installation during the official opening of the Faculty of Law’s space in Old Main.

The ceremony included a presentation of gifts from law graduates Miranda Schmold, Jake Archie and Debra Febril (Indigenous Law Students Association), on behalf of their respective nations to the Secwépemc Nation for allowing them to live and study in the territory. An informal blessing of the site was performed by Elder Evelyn Camille.

Story updated June 8, 2023.

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