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VIU renames qathet region campus

The Vancouver Island University (VIU) qathet region campus on Tla’amin Nation territory is now called tiwšɛmawtxw.

The Tla’amin Nation executive council gifted VIU the new name, which means house of learning.

A renaming ceremony for the Powell River campus was held Tuesday.

“We thank the Tla’amin Nation for this meaningful gift of a name that reflects our place in the community that allows Vancouver Island University to be an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone,” said Dr. Deborah Saucier, VIU president and vice-chancellor.

“Accepting the gifted name in ceremony of our campus in the qathet region reflects our ongoing commitment to truth and reconciliation by promoting the use of traditional names where we teach, learn, research, live and share knowledge. We greatly value our relationship with the Tla’amin Nation and we are grateful for this gift.”

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The name change is part of the university’s work to build stronger relationships with Indigenous communities.

“The Tla’amin Nation acknowledges with gratitude Vancouver Island University’s readiness and willingness to participate and engage in meaningful reconciliation,” said Tla’amin Nation’s Hegus (Chief) John Hackett.

“This renaming is a pivotal example of continued reconciliation within our territory and across Turtle Island more broadly. We are hopeful that this re-naming will inspire more reconciliation work throughout the territory.”

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