College of New Caledonia Unveils ?Esdilagh Logo at North Cariboo Campus
Those entering the doors of Quesnel’s North Cariboo Campus will now be welcomed by the logo of the ?Esdilagh First Nation.
At an unveiling event on Sept. 27, the eagle of the ?Esdilagh First Nation now stands alongside the logos of the Nazko First Nation, Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation, Lhtako Dene Nation on the College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) atrium wall.
“It is encouraging to be part of a conversation beginning today that has been ignored for too long – that is the need for Indigenous-led education within Canada’s curriculum,” said ?Esdilagh Chief Troy Baptiste. “Small steps need to be taken for this to happen. Today’s ceremony is an example of one of those steps. This gathering is not only about ?Esdilagh flying our flag at CNC, but it is a celebration of unity and reconciliation between the education systems and First Nations.”
CNC has worked with ?Esdilagh for many years to support its educational and training requests including, most recently, its effort to become self-sufficient in first aid and fire response.
The College has long held a space on its wall for ?Esdilagh’s logo. The plan to have an event celebrating the unveiling on campus had, however, been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This event is long overdue,” said CNC Quesnel Regional Principal Tim Lofstrom. “The College is honored to work with ?Esdilagh and we thank them for their graciousness in welcoming CNC and the community of Quesnel to live and thrive on their traditional territory. We’re honoured to have their logo alongside the other First Nation community logos in Quesnel.”
CNC works with First Nation and Metis leaders to support learning through mutual respect recognizing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Actions and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
The CNC Quesnel Aboriginal Education Steering Committee invites First Nation and Metis communities in the area to designate a sitting member. Two members of that council are also invited to sit on the Yinka Dene Council meetings in Prince George.
CNC President and CEO Dr. Dennis Johnson said the College’s new strategic plan lhulh whuts`odutel`eh: Learning Together recognizes that true Indigenization is about more than the education CNC provides but also about the culture and practices.
“The unveiling of ?Esdilagh’s logo at the North Cariboo Campus is the result of collaborative work in the spirit of reconciliation,” he said. “This is a small, but important, move forward in providing an inclusive, culturally safe atmosphere for all Indigenous students.”