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Media Release
Release Date: April 2, 2019

The Board of Governors of Camosun College is pleased to announce that the Songhees Nation is the recipient of the 2019 Award for Innovation and Community Partnership.

“The partnership between Camosun College and Songhees is long-term, special and multi-faceted,” says Camosun Board Chair Ron Rice. “On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am very pleased that Songhees Nation will be the recipient of this award, in recognition of their commitment to innovation and educational excellence.”

“This award recognizes the strength and wisdom of our people and our many innovative accomplishments,” says Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam. “We look forward to continuing to develop a community vision that is focussed on the future and that works closely with valued partners like Camosun College.”

“Our partnership with Songhees is unique and is greatly valued by both sides,” says Camosun President Sherri Bell. “For well over a decade, we’ve worked closely together developing and delivering joint education programs, learning from Songhees elders and promoting a mutually beneficial partnership that focusses on innovation in the community and through shared educational initiatives.”

The essence of the award is to acknowledge individuals or partners who approach projects, initiatives, relationships, work or service in new and innovative ways. The Songhees Nation has demonstrated leadership on many exciting and innovative initiatives, including:

  • The development of the 55,000 square foot state-of-the-art Songhees Wellness Centre, opened in 2014
  • The creation of the Songhees Innovation Centre to assist in the development of business and technology opportunities for the nation’s youth
  • Launch and success of the Songhees ‘Seafood & Steam’ food truck, highlighting delicious local Indigenous cuisine
  • Revenue generation and entrepreneurship through space rental, community fitness programming, gift shop, food truck and cafeteria catering to the general public and local partners

In addition, Songhees and Camosun have collaborated on many ground-breaking joint partnerships, including:

  • The new joint Aboriginal Culinary Arts Tourism and Hospitality Management program funded through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. Camosun students fundraise for program bursaries with the annual “Cooking for Reconciliation” dinner at the Songhees Wellness Centre
  • New Math and English upgrading programs for students planning to enter post-secondary education
  • Introduction to trades programs targeted at youth interested in joining Camosun trades training
  • Entry level ship repair as part of the Aboriginal marine training and employment program

The award will be presented during a ceremony on Thursday, April 4 from 6:30-8:30pm in the Farmer Family Student Commons (Atrium) of the Centre for Trades Education and Innovation (CTEI) at Interurban campus. There will be a performance by the Lekwungen dancers; Camosun students from Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts are assisting with event organization and logistics.


Ivan Watson
Marketing & Communications Strategist
Camosun College
250-418-0700 |

(click to enlarge)

Songhees Chief Ron Sam in front of the Songhees Wellness Centre
Songhees Chief Ron Sam in front of the Songhees Wellness Centre

Last updated: April 3, 2019 2:02 pm

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