BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

NVIT Reveals Rainbow Crosswalk on Campus

NICOLA VALLEY – In light of Pride month, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology has partnered with the NVIT Student Society and the Stronger Together Project, to reveal a rainbow crosswalk at their Merritt campus. This project was inspired by students from Merritt Secondary School in the Pride Club and Aboriginal Voice Group who presented a plan to install a rainbow crosswalk near the local high school. President/CEO Ken Tourand stated, “The NVIT community truly is a family. We hope that learners, visitors, community members, our Elders’ Council, staff and faculty will always feel welcome on our campus – a place where diversity is celebrated. It is in that spirit, that NVIT is proud to install a rainbow crosswalk.”

The NVIT Student Society stated “we acknowledge that being two (or more) spirited was considered an honour within Indigenous nations prior to colonization. With this rainbow crosswalk, we are promising our future generations that their path to becoming leaders will be free of discrimination. In partnership with NVIT and other Merritt organizations and businesses, we are proud to help restore the honour to our two-spirited ancestors.”

With the launch of a new Sexual Violence policy, NVIT has committed to creating a safe and inclusive campus for all. In the past year, they have launched a new Stronger Together campaign to raise awareness of sexualized violence and to promote the importance of consent. Jen Heard, Associate Registrar and member of the Stronger Together Project explains “the Stronger Together Project recognizes that violence is deeply rooted in gender-based and racial-based oppression. Our goal is to create a community of care and respect, free from discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and race, guided by a culture of consent. In celebration of both National Indigenous History Month and Pride Month, we are proud to partner with NVIT for this installation and look forward to creating and maintaining a culture of inclusivity on campus.”

The installation of the rainbow crosswalk complements NVIT’s core values and its commitment to have respect for the dignity, rights, cultures and beliefs of all people. This project reflects the institute’s mission “Empowering learners by strengthening voice and identity through education.”