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Media Release
Release Date: September 29, 2014

With traditional drumming, singing, dancing, and food, Camosun unveiled its new name and purpose for Aboriginal education: Eyēʔ Sqȃ'lewen – Centre for Indigenous Education and Community Connections

More than 200 guests of all ages - including children from Camosun's daycare centre and respected First Nations elders from local community - witnessed the beautiful ceremony held September 26 in Na'tsa'maht, Camosun's Aboriginal Gathering Place at Lansdowne campus.

"Eyēʔ Sqȃ'lewen - pronounced Eye. Sh-KWAW-leh-win - is a term offered to the college by Lkwungen Elder Elmer George," explains Indigenous Education Co-Leader Janice Simcoe. "It references 'good heart, good mind, good feelings' – the experiences we want students to have during their journey here."

Along with the new name, Simcoe explained how the new model is based on the Camas flower, which has always been important to local Indigenous people as a staple food and trading item and which also is a symbol of beauty and survival. The six petals represent the six purposes of the new Centre: services to students, community connections, courses and programs, special projects, Indigenization and research. Students are at the centre of the petals, the roots represent Indigenous knowledge and caring and the stems provide the relationships that hold it all together.

Camosun has been providing education for First Nations/Aboriginal students and communities since the 1970s but significant growth began in 1991 when the college formed a First Nations Advisory Council and hired a full-time First Nations Coordinator. Since then, the Aboriginal student population has grown from 125 to more than 1,000 Aboriginal students from 50 different Nations.

Camosun is now recognized as a provincial leader in Indigenous education, service, programming and community engagement. Camosun offers 10 different Indigenous-specific programs from Indigenous Studies to Indigenous Business Leadership, in addition to strong partnerships with the Indigenous areas of the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University and other organizations on Vancouver Island.

Our new model enables us to work more closely with all areas of the college, making it possible to do even more to change lives and enhance the good work being done in community. The Camosun College Student Society also supports an Aboriginal student events and advocacy group called the First Nations Student Association.


Ian Humphries and Janice Simcoe
Co-Leaders, Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections
Camosun College
Ian Humphries:  250-370-3297 |
Janice Simcoe:

Territorial Acknowledgement

Camosun College serves the communities of southern Vancouver Island and the south Gulf Islands located in the traditional territories of the Lkwungen (Esquimalt and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia'new, T'Sou-ke and W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Swawout, Tseycum) peoples.  We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here. Camosun College was established in 1970 and in 1971 the college councilors voted on a name change. "Camosun" (pronounced Cam-O-sun) was chosen, as it was an early name for Victoria. It is originally an Lkwungen name for an area of Victoria "where different waters meet and are transformed."

Skip DickNew signDancing prayerfire and drums

Last updated: September 29, 2014 3:44 pm

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