SFU announces First Peoples Gathering House

July 2, 2020

Simon Fraser University has announced the First Peoples’ Gathering House, which will be designed in the Coast Salish traditions and iconic typologies. “Realizing it is like getting the wish that was always close yet just out of reach,” said Eldon Yellowhorn, an SFU-ARC member and a founding chair of the now-named Department of Indigenous Studies. “Now that we have grasped hold of it we can pay attention to those other wishes that also seemed unreachable.” The Gathering House will include a ceremonial hall with space for up to 300 attendees, a dressing room, an Elders room, a classroom, a wellness room, and a multi-generational Indigenous peoples’ lounge with a food service kitchen. “Providing this kind of beautiful, culturally relevant space for Indigenous learners to come together, to celebrate, to practise cultural traditions, to learn and to make lasting friendships and connections is something I could have only dreamed of when I attended SFU,” said Melanie Mark, BC Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “This is what reconciliation is all about.” The Gathering House will be funded jointly by the Government of British Columbia and SFU, and will open on the university’s Burnaby campus in 2023. SFU | BC | (BC )