Iikaisskini Gathering Centre named after iconic University of Lethbridge figure
The University of Lethbridge opened the Iikaisskini Gathering Centre. Iikaisskini means Low Horn. It is named in honour of one of the university’s most iconic figures, Dr. Leroy Little Bear. Officials say it is an integral space for Indigenous students and the campus community to come together in ceremony, celebration and learning.
“It’s an attestation of all the hard work that all the indigenous faculty and staff have put forth towards making this happen over the last few generations. I am speaking about Leroy Little Bear who the centre is named after. There have been many other faculty and staff who have, you know they are very passionate about what they do which is creating the best post-secondary experience for indigenous students on the campus. Not only for indigenous students but also about creating relationships with indigenous and non-indigenous students because that is one of the most important aspects of truth and reconciliation,” said Nathan Crow, a fourth-year student at the University of Lethbridge.
“It’s a great day for the whole idea about reconciliation even though Iikaisskini centre might be primarily focused at indigenous students but it’s also for all students. It’s a centre for reconciliation can really be realized,” said Dr. Leroy Little Bear.
The Gathering Centre is designed as a welcoming home away from home for many in our indigenous community. It includes a space for ceremonies and smudging.