kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre opens at MacEwan University
Today marked an exciting milestone for MacEwan University’s kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre. It’s officially open and welcoming all students!
kihêw waciston, which means “eagle’s nest” in nêhiyawewin (Cree), is a home away from home for MacEwan University’s Indigenous students. It’s a space that students gather, work and grow in a community that honours the distinctive knowledge of Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous Centre offers cultural support with two full-time Knowledge Keepers for one-on-one sessions and group discussions. While many services are directed at Indigenous students, kihêw waciston’s doors are open to everyone in the MacEwan community.
Watch: CTV News – Eagle’s nest: MacEwan University unveils new Indigenous Centre
DIALOG’S team worked closely with the leadership of kihêw waciston to understand their needs and teachings to create a space that welcomes students and celebrates indigenous culture. The design references indigenous building traditions across Canada through the creation of a series of round and rectilinear gathering spaces within the larger area, one of which contains an abstracted tipi form to create a sense of welcome, and another which allows teaching of the stories of the night sky through a fibreoptic lighting installation. The careful selection of natural materials and use of traditional colours references indigenous teachings and natural landscapes. The landscape architecture beyond the building allows for a teaching healing garden and space for gathering and ceremonies, including a tipi and permanent fire circle.
kihêw waciston facilitates recognition and understanding of Indigenous knowledge, culture and history in the greater campus community. Congratulations to MacEwan University for reaching this exciting milestone!
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