VIU announces expansion of Shq’apthut (A Gathering Place)

Vancouver Island University has announced that it will be expanding Shq’apthut (A Gathering Place) at its Nanaimo campus. The space is used for cultural, academic, recreational, and social activities for Indigenous students, and the expansion will bring more ceremonial space and Elder-in-residence offices to the space. The space will be heated and cooled sustainably by VIU’s District Geo-Exchange Energy System, and will be surrounded by extensive landscaping that celebrates Indigenous culture. “Expanding Shq’apthut will allow us to host more cultural events because of increased capacity, and it will include dedicated office space for our Elders in residence to engage one-on-one with students in a culturally appropriate environment,” said Sylvia Scow, VIU interim director of the Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement. The expansion is supported by funds from the Government of British Columbia and VIU.