2016 Honoring our Leaders – Aboriginal Graduation Ceremony

Just days before the 20th Anniversary of the Canadian National Aboriginal Day, nearly 200 students, elders, mentors, staff, and faculty gathered at a special ceremony to honour those who have achieved excellence within the BCIT Aboriginal community.

This annual event is also an occasion to celebrate the success of Aboriginal students who will be convocating this week or who are marking a milestone in their education journeys.

The evening included a traditional dinner alongside powerful storytelling and song. The graduates were presented in a ceremony, blanketed, and carried handcrafted paddles with a logo created by graduate Julia Strome. This week, Julia will receive her third credential from BCIT, this time in Industrial Instrumentation and Control Technician. An incredible achievement.

Community ‘witnesses’ were summoned to receive gifts and be recognized. These witnesses were tasked with bringing the evening’s stories back to their own communities. Witness and BCIT Registrar Dawna Mackay said, “I always knew that BCIT can change a person’s life. I never thought that I would see it demonstrated in such a profound and wonderful way.”

BCIT Aboriginal Services works to assist Indigenous peoples of Status, Non-Status, Métis, Inuit, and Treaty ancestry achieve success in their post-secondary education, and to promote a greater awareness of Indigenous history, culture, and traditions.

BCIT acknowledges the traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish on which our BCIT campuses are located.



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