KAMLOOPS — The Board of Governors of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) unanimously approved to move ahead with construction of a $22-million Indigenous Education Centre. The decision was made at the board’s Sept. 29 meeting.
The centre will be built at the former location of the Cariboo Child Care Society day care that was in the heart of the Kamloops campus. An Indigenous blessing ceremony was held at the site in August 2021. The building is based on Secwépemc structural designs for meeting houses and was designed by Stantec in partnership with Indigenous architect Patrick Stewart. It will provide much-needed space for Indigenous students, ceremonies, culture and scholarly work.
“TRU is committed to Truth and Reconciliation, and the Indigenous Education Centre will provide an inclusive and supportive environment for Indigenous learners, faculty and staff,” says Brett Fairbairn, TRU president and vice-chancellor. “To share the news on the day when TRU marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation makes it extra meaningful.”
“This beautiful building will be welcoming to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities,” says Tina Matthew, executive director of the Office of Indigenous Education. “We look forward to this space strengthening our collective community.”
The building has been in the university’s long-term capital plan since 2018, as recommended by the Capital Project Planning Advisory Group and approved by Fairbairn. Consultations were held with Indigenous faculty, staff and students, and consultation has been planned with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.
Construction on the building is expected to begin in the spring of 2024.
Michele Young, Manager, Communications Content
University Relations, Thompson Rivers University
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