Members of the Elders' Council (2013):
Don Beauchesne [on leave]
North Vancouver – Tsleil-Waututh
Margaret George [on leave]
Theresa Neel [on leave]
When we take a historical peek into how our Aboriginal communities worked to maintain a healthy and balanced life, we see that at the heart of this movement sat a loving, intelligent, and courageous group. This group was the Elders of the community.
In our close-knit community at NVIT, we are very proud to say this still holds true. NVIT Elders’ Council consists of 15 members between the Merritt and Vancouver campuses. They come from different backgrounds and nations throughout British Columbia . The Elders’ offer guidance to our students, faculty and Education Council. In addition to continually providing students and staff daily guidance, advice and support, they are involved in planning the NVIT Graduation Ceremony and they are grandparents who teach good medicine. Their presence on campus is a source of pride and comfort for the community of NVIT.
The NVIT Elders’ Council is here to support the students as they embark on their journey to a higher education. For generations Elders’ have passed on their knowledge, culture, tradition and wisdom as we are now passing on to you. We are here to assist and support students success whether it be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, to be a grandparent, to comfort you or to be there when you need to talk. It is very important for us to be here for you as you grow and keep moving forward on your journey.
The path that we travel down as we discover our teachings will help us to embrace our history and identity. Our identity and culture are the past. It is only when we can unwrap the past that we will also embody our healing and the gift that NVIT is. That is the journey.
The doors of our building welcome us every day and remind us, as we enter, of the footprints that we are leaving for the next generation. Just as our Elders taught us, we welcome all nations through our doors building a unity.
We also thank the students who help us to remember through their diligence that we are all still learning. We never stop learning no matter how old we are. As long as Mother Earth is alive we will need her teachings. We invite you to come and share with us; we need your questions, answers, tears, wisdom, comfort and love.
We honour those Elders that came before us and who are continuing their journey spiritually: Gordon Antoine, Pearl Clayton, Margaret Tom, Felix and Bernice Squakin, and Mike Bob.
We also honour those Elders that are no longer able to join us but are still in our thoughts and prayers: Daisy Major, Doris Frye, John Joe, Tom McCallum and Barbara Wyss.