The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation strengthened their ties Friday morning.
UNBC President Daniel Weeks and Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dominic Frederick joined hands to recognize the importance of the relationship they share. A new sign was unveilied at the campus entrance on University Way. Written in the traditional Dakehl (Carrier) language, the sign means “House of Learning.”
Chief Frederick says it sheds light on both aboriginal and non-aboriginal students to recognize who they are and where they come from. “Part of the culture is to use the name places of it and this is part of that and part of that language that we have.”
After the sign unveiling, both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a ceremony under a now permanent Lheidli T’enneh flag that will fly on campus.
Weeks says the university will now look at another MOU with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Manitoba. “The Manitoba group thinks that this could be an important western node for their group, so it’s really about changing the dialogue in Canada and changing our approach in discussing aboriginal issues,” he said. “You begin with symbols, but symbols mean something very important behind them and so the work really that we need to do is to ensure that we honour those symbols and the relationships that we have.”