The Elders' Initiative program ensures that Indigenous students and the college community can benefit from the knowledge and guidance of these important community members.
Many Indigenous students attending Camosun are studying far from their home communities, and many others are just starting to explore their indigeneity. This means that for many students they do not have access to Elder support.
Indigenous students and communities identified Elder support as crucial to helping students be successful in their studies. To address this Camosun, through Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen and the Aboriginal Service Plan, implemented the Elders' Initiative.
The Elders' Initiative includes local First Nations and Métis Elders who participate in ceremonies, events, healing activities, and are available to help support students and faculty by participating in classrooms. Furthermore, the Elders' Initiative provides Indigenous students with access to more traditional mentoring and counselling.
Elders are an important connection between the past, present and future of our people. They carry the stories, ancestral teachings and cultural knowledge which teach people how to live a good life.
Todd Ormiston, Program Leader