Cree Bachelor of Education student and artist Neepin Auger presented the Iniskim Centre with the commemorative mural “Creator, I Walk in Two Worlds” in honour of their fifth anniversary.
The Iniskim Centre, which supports First Nations, Métis and Inuit students at Mount Royal University, recently celebrated five years. Iniskim, explained Leonard Weasel Traveller, a former Blackfoot Confederacy Chief who named the Centre on March 21, 2007, likens education to the ancestral buffalo hunt. “Iniskim is our relation to the buffalo, the source of food, shelter and clothing for our ancestors.” Iniskim provides resources, tutoring, Aboriginal housing, programming, counselors through the wellness centre, and other cultural programming. “We do everything we can to help (Aboriginal students) out,” said Marlene Poitras, acting director. “It’s a foreign world, so we make an environment for them to feel comfortable.” The centre hosts a highly successful Aboriginal Education Program that prepares students for university entrance. Out of 70 students enrolled in the program in the fall, only three dropped out, said Poitras. The Centre will host special graduation ceremonies for First Nations, Métis and Inuit graduates on June 2.