When students and staff enter NBCC campuses, they’ll walk along a reminder of the College’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.
As Canada marks National Indigenous History Month in June, NBCC is introducing a freshly-painted, bright orange walkway at each of its campus locations. The new ‘Seven Feathers’ walkways mark NBCC’s ongoing commitment to learn together with Indigenous partners, guided by the original treaties of peace, respect, and friendship.
“The seven feathers are a symbol of the strength and courage of residential school survivors and pay tribute to the Indigenous lives lost over the years in residential schools,” said NBCC Indigenous Student Advisor Denise Reidpath. “The seven feathers represent the seven grandfather teachings – wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honestly, humility, and truth.”
The walkway project was a collaboration between NBCC’s Indigenous Student Advising Team and the Facilities and Ancillary Services Department. The two groups worked together to select a design, order supplies, and identify highly-visible locations for the walkways.
Director of Facilities and Ancillary Services Kris Kierstead says his team is proud to have played a part of this project coming together.
“As the department responsible for maintaining and developing NBCC’s learning and working environments, we were happy to champion this initiative,” said Kris. “These walkways are an important step forward in incorporating more Indigenous culture and heritage into our campus spaces.”
Although the ‘Seven Feathers’ walkways are a symbolic representation of NBCC’s own journey towards truth and reconciliation, the hope is that they will also spark important conversations within the communities our campuses call home.
“I think it’s about increasing consciousness. For some people, Truth and Reconciliation is something that they live and breathe, while for others, it may be a new term,” said Emily Dayboll, Manager, Student Development. “Having a bright orange sidewalk with seven feathers that you have to walk across will certainly increase a little bit of consciousness and curiosity about what it means and hopefully prompt conversations.”