Student focused services

The Elders teach us “Before we can know who we are as a people and where we are going, we must first understand where we have come from.”

Durham College’s First Peoples Indigenous Centre (FPIC) was given the name Suswaaning Endaajig through a traditional naming Ceremony.  It means ‘nest away from home’ in Anishnaawbe.  The four eggs in the nest symbolize the four colours of the Medicine Wheel and the nest represents a safe place for growth.

The Medicine Wheel

PHYSICAL Health

  • The ASC offers a culturally recognizable and inviting environment for Indigenous learners
  • Materials for Indigenous crafts are available to make items such as: dream catchers, Medicine Wheels and beading
  • A variety of board and card games are available for use
  • Students will have the opportunity to make traditional hand drums and learn about the teachings of the drum
  • A variety of movies, both Indigenous resources and Hollywood entertainment are on hand
  • Sewing machines and materials are available to make medicine bags and regalia

MENTAL Health

  • Staff members advocate on behalf of students within and outside of the college with any issue they may be facing, whether it is related to their funding or general well-being
  • Laptop computers are available in addition to plenty of space for socializing, visiting, playing games or studying
  • A variety of Indigenous resources (DVDs, books, CDs) are available
  • Cultural workshops
  • Bursary and financial information is also available

EMOTIONAL Health

  • Indigenous students are welcome to the FPIC and encouraged to utilize the space as their own
  • Staff members are available to support students with whatever they need, whether it’s academic or personal. If the staff person cannot assist, then students will be referred to the appropriate resources both within the College and in the community

SPIRITUAL Health

  • Traditional Elders will be available at the FPIC for private one-on-one counselling
  • Traditional teachings will be held throughout the year
  • The Traditional Medicines (Sage, Sweetgrass, Cedar and Tobacco) are available for use at FPIC
  • Traditional Ceremonies such as: Sunrise, Full Moon, Feasting of the Dead, Summer Solstice and Winter Equinox will be scheduled and dates advertised