Aboriginal House and Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, June 20, 2008, a ceremony was held marking the opening of Aboriginal House at the University of Manitoba.

The new $6.7 million, 15,000 square foot facility signifies the commitment and mutual respect shared between the University of Manitoba and the Aboriginal community.  It will be a gathering place for Aboriginal students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as the campus and community at large.  For students, Aboriginal House may become a “home away from home”: a place that will foster advice and support from peers, staff and Elders, and provide a positive learning environment, respecting culture and heritage.  Tenants of Aboriginal House will include: ACCESS programs; Office of University Accessibility; Aboriginal Student Centre; Aboriginal Student Association; Elder-in-Residence; and graduate students and sessional instructors in the department of Native Studies.

Dr. Fred Shore, Executive Director of University Accessibility at the University of Manitoba served as the Master of Ceremony for the event.  Mr. Rod Bruinooge, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians brought greetings on behalf of the federal government.  The Honourable Diane McGifford, Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy brought greetings on behalf of the provincial government.  Mr. Garry Robson, Elder, designate from the Aboriginal Students Centre, Dr. Peter Nunoda, director, ACCESS Programs and Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University spoke on behalf of the University.

Mrs. Marilyn Brick, MLA (St. Norbert) and Councillor Justin Swandel (Fort Garry) were also in attendance.

The ceremony included a ribbon-cutting and description of the symbolism incorporated with the design of the building, which features First Nations and Métis elements such as a river, a mosaic island and the Four Directions.

The facility will begin operations later in the summer.  An open house and grand celebrations will be held on Friday, September 19, 2008.


Lt. to Rt.: Rod Bruinooge, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians; Garry Robson, Elder; The Honourable Diane McGifford, Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy; Emőke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba


Mr. Fred Shore, Executive Director of University Accessibility


Mr. Rod Bruinooge, MP


Minister Diane McGifford


Dr. Peter Nunoda, director, ACCESS Programs


Mr. Garry Robson, Elder


Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor


Lt. to Rt.: Dr. Robert Kerr, Vice-President (Academic); Dr. Joanne Keselman, Vice-President (Research); Ms. Elaine Goldie, Vice-President (External)


Lt. to Rt.: Mr. Rod Bruinooge, MP; Mr. Garry Robson, Elder; Minister Diane McGifford; Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor


Lt. to Rt.: Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, President and Vice-Chancellor; Mrs. Marilyn Brick, MLA; Minister Diane McGifford