Today the university announced that kihêw waciston, its Indigenous Centre, will relocate for the Fall 2019 term. The centre will make its new home in a reimagined space at the far west side of the Robbins Health Learning Centre, currently named Paul Byrne Hall.
“The centre’s prominent new location will be a very visible sign of our commitment to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action – and to developing practices to enhance the diversity, equity and inclusion for our students, faculty, staff and community,” said John McGrath, vice-president, resources and people, in a message to the university community.
The larger, enhanced space will not only support more students as they pursue their post-secondary education, it will also allow for a greater number of opportunities to engage the university community – both inside and outside the campus – in promoting reconciliation and moving forward in a positive way.
This is the first project in the university’s 25-year Campus Master Plan, created in consultation with students, faculty, staff and community members, and approved by the Board of Governors in June 2018. Construction is set to begin in February 2019, and discussions are underway to name another space on campus in honour of Dr. Paul Byrne, president of MacEwan from 1997 to 2011.
Advancing reconciliation on campus
At the university's Spring Convocation ceremonies, university president Deborah Saucier realized that "this was what reconciliation could look like – two realities, side by side, working together."
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.