Indigenous graduation celebration recognizes 57 new alumni
Royal Roads University Indigenous students, faculty and staff gather today along with family and friends to celebrate the remarkable achievement of 57 Indigenous 2020 graduates and listen to a special message from members of the Heron People Circle (Elders and Old Ones).
The graduates include 29 First Nation, 26 Métis, and 2 First Nation and Inuit students from across Canada and as a student in Japan.
"2020 is the year in which we will remember how students succeeded in an undoubtedly different world," says Royal Roads University President and Vice-Chancellor Philip Steenkamp. "I extend my warm congratulations to the graduates and my gratitude for the ongoing guidance from the members of Heron People Circle."
Asma-na-hi Antoine is the university lead for Indigenous Engagement and chair of the newly formed Royal Roads Indigenous Alumni Group.
She acknowledges the exceptional challenges that 2020 presented the students.
"A huge congratulations to each and every graduate!" says Antoine. "It couldn't have been easy amongst the pandemic and and your own personal challenges. We hope you stay connected. And when opportunities allow, we welcome you back to speak, tell your stories, and share your leadership and knowledge."
Kiana Alexander-Hill, a Master of Arts in Leadership graduate and Métis Iskwew storyteller and scholar, received the Governor General’s Gold Medal this year for her thesis investigating how a sense of personal and collective belonging for young people can ignite civic action.