The journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities takes many forms, including visual acknowledgements of the land we are on. The new SENĆOŦEN language residence house names gifted by the Sc’ianew First Nation and introduced last fall remind every campus resident and visitor that we are living and learning on the traditional and ancestral land and waters stewarded by the Sc’ianew and other Coast Salish nations.

At our recent outdoor graduation and end-of-year ceremony, students – who earlier embraced the SENĆOŦEN language names of their respective houses – received a first look at a new all-wood campus welcome sign that will be proudly placed on Pearson College Drive – the only road access to the campus. Like the student residence houses, the Indigenous design iconography was inspired by Chief Russell Chipps of Sc’ianew and, with consent, was finalized by staff member Lucas Olscamp  and campus resident Berenice Sanders, an art teacher and a graphic designer, respectively.

The reception was overwhelmingly positive by students, faculty, staff and visitors alike. And, while we couldn’t wait to give you a sneak peak, we look forward to sharing a not-so-far-away view when the new sign welcome is officially placed in what will be a time of celebration with the Sc’ianew community at Beecher Bay.

And, in case you’re concerned (I’m talking to you, Alumni!), the historical Lester B. Pearson campus welcome sign on the Drive will be preserved and also used to welcome everyone to our community.