Conestoga news

June 25, 2010 3:59 PM

New Centre Advances Opportunities for Aboriginal Students

Conestoga College has just launched a new initiative that will benefit and support all Aboriginal students at Conestoga. Be-Dah-Bin Gamik (Place of New Beginning) is an Aboriginal student services centre located in the Student Life Centre at the Doon campus in Kitchener.

The official opening ceremony for the new facility took place Tuesday, June 22.

"The significance of the Aboriginal centre is that Conestoga College now provides a direct link to resources, including cultural and academic support, to overcome issues and barriers faced by Aboriginal post-secondary students," said Myeengun Henry, Manager of Aboriginal Services at Conestoga. "This includes working closely with Conestoga College staff and faculty as an advisor on Aboriginal issues."

"The importance of finding and creating effective educational opportunities for Aboriginal communities is taking on a higher profile, as it should and must," said Conestoga President Dr. John Tibbits. “Full participation in our economy by these communities will be essential to helping Ontario and Canada maintain prosperity in the future. Conestoga is fully committed to this goal, through initiatives such as establishment of the Aboriginal student services centre."

People in blue sitting in a circle around a drum

The scope of services at Be-Dah-Bin Gamik will include:

  • Aboriginal in-resident Elders
  • Aboriginal traditional counselling
  • Social events
  • Aboriginal community events
  • SAGE (Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement) program for first-year students
  • Be-Dah-Bin Gamik newsletter
  • Information on bursaries and scholarships
  • Computers
  • Counselling
  • Annual Pow Wow
  • Aboriginal resource material (books and videos)
  • Workshops
  • Aboriginal Relationship Council (ARC)
  • Aboriginal movie hour
  • Links to all Conestoga student services

Henry says Aboriginal Services will have three main goals:

  • Ensure Aboriginal student success
  • Create a relationship between the Aboriginal community and the College
  • Provide support to Conestoga College in understanding of Aboriginal people and issues

For more information, contact Myeengun Henry at 519-748-5220, ext. 2251 or .

Grand Opening