Kwantlen First Nation elders Cheryl Gabriel and Lekeyten Antone delivering the opening prayer and song during Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s aboriginal open house.

Aboriginal awareness at Kwantlen

Surrey campus open house welcomed more than 200 Grade 8-12 aboriginal students from the Richmond, Surrey, Langley and Ridge Meadows.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Aboriginal Gathering Place opened its doors to more than 200 Grade 8-12 aboriginal students from the Richmond, Surrey, Langley and Ridge Meadows school districts recently at its Surrey campus.

Titled Your Path, the open house featured campus tours, mini lectures and an information fair for the students, school district staff and teachers in attendance.

The event received an official opening of prayer and song from Kwantlen First Nation elders Cheryl Gabriel and Lekeyten Antone.

Speaker and BC Lion J.R. LaRose talked about his own battles with adversity as a youth with Aboriginal roots and how it fueled his motivation for success as a professional athlete.

“I couldn’t be happier with the turnout and participation at this event,” said Joshua Mitchell, director of student engagement at Kwantlen Polytechnic University who oversees Aboriginal Services and Kwantlen’s Aboriginal Gathering Place. “The goal for the day was for students to develop an understanding of the accessibility and range of post-secondary options available in our region, to meet Kwantlen students, faculty and staff, to experience a university campus setting, and to consider how they might begin to establish a plan for their own transition to post-secondary studies.

“Based on the feedback we’ve received, I think we’ve succeeded on all fronts today.”

Organized within Kwantlen’s Student Life and Community Division since April 2010, the Aboriginal Gathering Place has since launched a number of initiatives focused on community outreach, student support programs, and on-campus awareness of Aboriginal issues, history and culture.

Your Path is one of a series is of initiatives including peer mentoring, student club activities, lectures, workshops and campus festivals.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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