Aboriginal Student Centre at the University of Regina renamed
On November 28, 2019, the University of Regina unveiled ta-tawâw Student Centre (pronounced: tah-tah-wow) as the new name for the Aboriginal Student Centre. ta-tawâw means “Welcome. There is room. There is space.” in the Cree language.
“While primarily intended to support Indigenous students through their educational journey here at the University, the ta-tawâw Student Centre is a place for all students, faculty, staff and members of the larger community to come together,” said Dr. Vianne Timmons, University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor. “For that reason, it is fitting that the centre’s new name reflects an open and inclusive space that welcomes everyone.”
In 2015, the Government of Canada changed the department of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. This change came at a time when First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of Canada began to reject the term “Aboriginal.”
Student Affairs and University leadership also recognized that it would be appropriate to change the name of the Aboriginal Student Centre (ASC) to eliminate the term “Aboriginal” from the name. The ASC initiated a renaming process in Fall 2019 by establishing a renaming committee and soliciting name suggestions from students and other University community members.
“The ASC asked that people submit a name that they felt best described the ASC; a name they felt would respect the beautiful diversity of our cultures, knowledges, traditions, and languages,” said Misty Longman, Manager of the Centre. “A name that would acknowledge the space as a place where everyone belongs.”
The ASC renaming committee reviewed the suggestions and narrowed the names down to two options which were then sent to self-declared First nations, Métis and Inuit students to vote on. Approximately 250 students responded to the poll and just over half (53%) voted for ta-tawâw.
The ta-tawâw Student Centre will continue to focus on assisting Indigenous students’: successful transition into University; participation in University events; retention and successful completion of University; and, transition into the workforce. It also supports intercultural and intergenerational exchange in building relationships and strengthening community support.
Programs and services offered by the Centre include:
- Cultural and traditional awareness – celebrating and exploring culture and traditional knowledge;
- The nitôncipâmin omâ Student Success Program (OMA Program) – provides supports for first-year Indigenous students;
- Neekaneewak (“they are leading”) Leadership Initiative (NLI) – an Elder based leadership program that enhances cultural awareness and develop leadership skills in student participants through traditional and current ‘ways of knowing;
- Employer and student luncheon sessions; and
- The 101 Orientation – a one day orientation to campus life for first-year Indigenous students at the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada, and federated colleges.
The ta-tawâw Student Centre is located in Room 108 of the Research and Innovation Centre, Main Campus.
About the University of Regina
The University of Regina—with campuses located on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories, the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota and Nakoda nations and the homeland of the Métis—is a comprehensive, mid-sized university that traces its roots back to the creation of Regina College in 1911. Today, more than 16,500 students study within the University’s 10 faculties, 25 academic departments/schools, 18 research centres and institutes, and three federated colleges (Campion College, First Nations University of Canada, and Luther College). The University of Regina has an established reputation for excellence and innovative programs that lead to undergraduate, master, and doctoral degrees.
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