Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) welcomed its first elder in residence at a special installation ceremony at its Surrey campus on Thursday.
Lekeyten, a well-known and respected member of the Kwantlen First Nation in Fort Langley, has taken on this important role.
“In my travels, I have always been respectful of the teachings of people, and I’m always learning,” Lekeyten told the audience of friends, family and KPU faculty and staff. “I’m coming to join every classroom, and I’m going to learn as well.”
One of 20 Kwantlen First Nation elders, Lekeyten grew up attending day school. While they were similar to residential schools, day schools did not require students to stay overnight and they returned home at the end of every day. …
KPU criminology instructor Lisa Monchalin, who is of Algonquin, Metis and Huron descent, described Lekeyten as one of the most honest and intelligent people she’s ever met, and said KPU is honoured to have him as its first elder in residence. …
The primary focus of the elder in residence program is to support and encourage Aboriginal students on their educational journey. Lekeyten will share knowledge, traditions and teachings with individual students and groups and will work with the university to encourage and promote understanding and respect for indigenous perspectives, culture and values.
I’m delighted that Kwantlen Polytechnic University is continuing to reach out to Aboriginal students, potential students, and community members.
In 2010 the university opened up the beautiful Aboriginal Gathering Place on its Surrey campus.