Indigenous Student Services

Our vision is to be responsive to your needs as an Indigenous student so that you can achieve your potential for success as a self-directed, independent learner. We are also here to provide support in a manner that is consistent with the cultures and values of our peoples, as well as to enhance and complement Douglas College values.

Our Indigenous Student Services centres offer a number of services including:

  • Culturally-appropriate support services, activities and events in the college and community
  • 1:1 support with the Indigenous Student Advisor
  • Assistance for future students while serving as advocates for current students
  • Student assistants are peer mentors who are available for additional support 
  • Transition into the workforce
Our centres also provide services for all students, including:
  • A quiet place for studying, reading, writing or taking a break
  • A place to meet, connect and make friends 
  • Computer, Internet and telephone access
  • Information on Indigenous history and culture
Whether you are a new student, a mature student, a full-time or part-time student, drop by one of our centres and find out how we can help you reach your goals.
  • We have Elders come visit, where students can seek spiritual/cultural guidance
  • Information about funding options for Status and non-status Indigenous students as well as bursaries, scholarships, awards, and student loans
  • Assistance finding accommodations and day care
  • Access to a range of academic workshops and one-on-one writing and research skills
  • Opportunities to participate in and witness traditional cultural presentations
Self-Identifying

Anyone who is Indigenous, First Nations, Metis, and of Inuit backgrounds can identify as being Indigenous. This means status and non-status Natives from North America.

You are asked to self-identify as Indigenous when you register at Douglas College. Self identifying is confidential and is completely voluntary.

At Douglas College, we believe that self identifying as Indigenous means being proud of who you are. We also believe it is essential to understand how many Indigenous students attend Douglas College so that we can provide a culturally appropriate environment and resources in order to support self-identifying students.

Elders

You can meet our Elders at one of the many events/ceremonies that Douglas College holds. To make an appointment with one of our Elders please contact Dave Seaweed - seaweedd@douglascollege.ca

Sandra comes to us from the Haida First Nation and is proud to say that she has been on her personal healing journey since 1988.

Sandra has over 25 years experience in the administration/management arena and has successfully organized and facilitated events from community to national forums.  She also has a diverse experience in fields of Health issues, Women's issues and Indigenous concerns as a proactive participant.  Sandra has been responsible for policy-making, project managements, organizing, public relations and workshop facilitation in various capacities.

Sandra is proud to serve on several boards, as she strongly believes in community.

In addition to facilitating and organizing events, Sandra enjoys spending her free time weaving baskets and jewelry, painting, and reading. She is also apart of an Urban Haida dance group called K’uuts’llxuu T’aaxwii, meaning Far South Song Birds.

Lillian Howard is from the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation. She is of Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwake'wak, and Tlingit ancestry.

She is on contract with the Public Health Sevices Authority with the Indigenous Health teams and BC Children & Women's Hospital. Lillian has worked with First Nations, Tribal Councils, Provincial, National, International organizations. Ms. Howard sits on the Vancouver Urban Indigenous Advisory Committee, Vancouver Police Aboriginal Advisory Committee, West Coast LEAF Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Indigenous Council and does work with Reciprocal Consulting.

Lillian received a Master of Arts in Environmental, Education, and Communication from Royal Roads University. An annual favorite for Lillian is participating in the annual Pacific Northwest Tribal Journeys. Ms. Howard is an Indigenous, Social, Environmental justice advocate. 

Locations

This centre sits on the traditional territory of the QayQayt First Nation. The Qayqayt (also Qiqayt, pronounced "Kee-Kite"), is one of the smallest First Nations in Canada and the only one without a land base.

The Qayqayt reserve used to exist on the banks of the Fraser River, around New Westminster. The Qayqayt people historically spoke the Halq'eméylem (Upriver dialect), of Halkomelem (also Hul’q’umi’num’/Henqeminem), a Coast Salish language.

Here are some resources for more information about the QayQayt: 

A Tribe of One – a National Film Board film documentary (available in our Library)

"We Are the Qayqayt" – Chief Rhonda Larrabee’s Story

This centre sits on the traditional territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nation. The Kwikwetlem are a Sto:lo people with reserves in the Coquitlam River watershed. They traditionally speak the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem (also Hul’q’umi’num’/Henqeminem). The name Kwikwetlem means "red fish up the river.”

Salute to Indigenous students

"There is a longing in the heart of my people to reach out and grasp that which is needed for our survival. There is longing among the young of my nation to secure for themselves and their people the skills that will provide them with a sense of worth and purpose.

"They will be our new warriors. Their training will be much longer and more demanding more determination and separation from home and family. But they will emerge with their hands held forward to grasp the place in society that is rightfully theirs."

- Chief Dan George