author: john loeppky | editor-in-chief
jeremy davis / Insert name here
The Aboriginal Students’ Centre (ASC) is looking for a new name.
In a statement on their website, with an online form for name submissions, the centre laid out their reasons for a name change.
“It’s time that the Aboriginal Student Centre at the University of Regina has a new name. We’re looking for your help to find a name that is reflective of our community, and our space. A name that respects the beautiful diversity of our cultures, knowledges, traditions, and languages. A name that acknowledges that our space is a place where everyone is welcome. A name that we choose for ourselves.”
The form asks for contact information as well as the proposed name, the language in which it is written, the way the name is spoken, and also asks for “a short statement about the name you are proposing for our centre, to briefly explain how it relates to our mission statement, values, and goals to support students.“
The centre‘s mission statement is, as written on their site, “… to Encourage, Empower, and Educate by assisting Indigenous students to strengthen and realize their potential.”
“Through encouraging reciprocal exchange amongst students, staff and faculty, elders, alumni, and our larger communities, we honor [SIC] that kihci-kiskinwahamatowikamik (university) is a place where we celebrate and embrace our collective contributions as a community, and achieve the greatest heights of education.”
The site also notes that, “A committee of Elders, students, and staff will choose from the names provided by our community.”
While not in exactly the same vein, other name changes have occurred on campus in recent years. Most notably, the new resident buildings, and their older siblings, were renamed in 2015. North residence became Paskwaw, south became Wakpa, and the new buildings were named the Kisik towers. The process this time around is centred on the ASC rather than a University of Regina naming committee as was true in the past.
In other ASC-related news, the deadline for Neekaneewak Indigenous Leadership Initiative nominations is Mar. 15. Neekaneewak, meaning they are leading according to a press release sent by the centre, focuses on four areas: “Academic, Personal, Professional, and Cultural” development.
According to the ASC’s website, “Neekaneewak is led by a Leadership Team composed of Elders, successful alumni, senior students and student support partners providing culturally relevant programming, mentoring, supports and leadership development opportunities to Indigenous students at the University of Regina.”
Nominations can be made for students as well as those who support them and the nomination period began in October. Current Indigenous students, faculty, staff, elders, alumni and knowledge keepers are all eligible.
According to the ASC, the goals are to “acknowledge and celebrate Indigenous students who are developing and practicing skills and knowledge as leaders that benefit our community,” and “recognize those who support & contribute to student leadership experiences, development, and to their overall success.”