Ktunaxa classroom opens at COTR

The College of the Rockies dedicated a room for the Ktunaxa Education and Employment Sector on Wednesday, April 22.

  • Apr. 24, 2015 2:00 p.m.
The Sookenai Drum Group performed at the Aboriginal Gathering Place following a ceremony opening the Ktunaxa classroom at the College of the Rockies.

The Sookenai Drum Group performed at the Aboriginal Gathering Place following a ceremony opening the Ktunaxa classroom at the College of the Rockies.

Barry Coulter

The College of the Rockies dedicated a room for the Ktunaxa Education and Employment Sector on Wednesday, April 22, and marked the occasion with a special ceremony.

The dedicated classroom will provide a visible point of continuity for new or potential aboriginal students to connect with current Ktunaxa students.

The room will host programs such as Bladerunners — an employment training program focussed on providing job readiness skills and education — and the Ktunaxa Workplace Essential Skills training that are currently held in other locations within the College.

It will also provide a location for cultural activities, workshops, drop-in sessions, coaching and mentoring sessions and more.

The classroom project has been a partnership between the College of the Rockies and the Ktunaxa Education and Employment Sector, and on Wednesday dignitaries praised the teamwork and vision of that partnership.

Stan Chung, Vice President of Education for COTR, said it was an honour “to be guests on Ktunaxa Nation Territory.”

Chung thanked everyone who’d worked hard to make it possible, and mentioned specifically “how much work the Deans and Nation teams have done in relationship building.

“This is our 40th anniversary this year,” Chung said, “and we would not have been here without the nation walking beside us. Wherever we’re going, we’re going together.”

Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair Kathryn Teneese said this event had been a long time in the making.

“We can long back on those years when we didn’t have any post-secondary education in this region … now it’s a reality.

“We all know education is the future, to change our circumstance, to build capacity, and create the workforce that we need, for our young people and for our older people too.

“The world is there, and we need to work towards providing ourselves with choices and opportunities.”

The throng then moved over to the Ktunaxa Gathering Place to listen to the music of the Sookenai Drum Group and enjoy lunch.