FREDERICTON – Students at New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) Woodstock Campus have an inviting space to study and gather following the renovation of the campus’ Aboriginal Student Lounge. Named “Kilun,” a Maliseet word which means “us,” the lounge was opened February 17 at the campus. The opening also featured the unveiling of a large mural depicting the four elements in a beautiful New Brunswick landscape.
Funded by the Government of New Brunswick Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL), renovations to the student lounge have been ongoing over the past year and included enhancing the space by adding cultural artwork and new furniture.
Projects like this are part of NBCC’s commitment to learners and helping them achieve success. “This project is just one of the many ways we are trying to meet the diverse needs of our learners and foster successful student experiences at NBCC,” said Suzanne Desrosiers, Vice-President, Employee and Student Development. “We are really proud of the mural which reflects a welcoming, supportive environment for all learners at the campus while honouring and respecting diversity.”
Started in September 2014, the mural was created over five weeks by Maliseet artist and NBCC alumnus Roche Sappier with the input of students, staff and community members. The project was a great experience for Roche and he believes it will be equally as rewarding for NBCC overall. “I often heard comments from people who were surprised that NBCC would do something like this. I believe NBCC will go a long ways – moving toward a common ground for everyone to take part in NBCC’s vision for the future. This project has laid the groundwork for all cultures to feel included,” he said.
Containing many themes and images that represent the idea of togetherness, the mural was also used as an opportunity to share teachings about New Brunswick and Aboriginal culture. “The interactive nature of this project has encouraged one-on-one dialogue with a respected member of our Maliseet community and we have created something truly beautiful in remembrance of this experience,” said Angela Acott-Smith, Regional Director of the NBCC Woodstock Campus.
With over 90 programs and six campuses across New Brunswick, New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) is a provincially-recognized, public post-secondary institution reputed for producing skilled, knowledgeable graduates who are contributing to the Province’s socio-economic prosperity. NBCC offers students one- and two-year certificate and diploma programs. Find out more by visiting: www.nbcc.ca.
Gathered in front of the mural and entrance to “Kilun”, the Aboriginal Student Lounge at NBCC Woodstock, from left to right, is Charlie Nicholas, Aboriginal Student Advisor; Marjorie Polchies, Elder; Marilyn Luscombe, President and CEO of NBCC; and Angela Acott-Smith, Regional Director at NBCC Woodstock. Media contact:
Misty Wade Hovey
Marketing & Communications, NBCC