The new Centre for Aboriginal Student Services, which will have its official grand opening tomorrow, is a vital gathering space for Aboriginal students, says Randy Pitawanakwat, coordinator, Aboriginal Student Services.
The grand opening will take place at the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services Sept. 27 starting at 2pm at 246 York Lanes, Keele campus. Rob Tiffin, vice-president students, will emcee the event with welcoming remarks by President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, Richard Hill, York Aboriginal Council co-chair, and Sarah Yankoo, president of the Aboriginal Student Association at York.
Right: Part of the space inside the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services
The ceremonies will begin with an Anishinabe opening prayer by Jacqui Lavalley and an honour song by Spirit Wind Women’s Hand Drum Group.
York University was fortunate to receive a grant from the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities to enhance its Aboriginal space on campus. A location was identified on the second floor in York Lanes. Renovations proceeded during the summer of 2010 and staff moved into the new facilities this February.
The centre includes four offices, a computer/study area, student lockers and kitchen. “Upon entering the front reception area, guests will be treated to a wonderful display of Aboriginal artworks representing First Nations, Metis and Inuit cultures,” says Pitawanakwat.
The new centre provides a space for students where they can drop by between classes to relax, make new friends or simply study and do homework. More importantly, students have access to the centre’s programming and services, he says. Staff is available to provide guidance and assistance ensuring that students are successful in achieving their educational goals.
For more information, visit the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services website.